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Prime Minister meets Orbit’s aspiring homeowners

Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited an Orbit Group development in the East Midlands today, to see how the 39,000-home housing provider is helping an increasing number of people to own their own home. 

This follows the Shared Ownership 2.0 report published by Orbit Group and the Chartered Institute of Housing, setting out recommendations to make shared ownership a mainstream tenure, alongside home ownership and social and private renting. 

Visiting Horninglow Road at Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, the Prime Minister spoke to would-be home owners aspiring to buy a shared ownership home. As he outlined his commitment to the scheme, Mr Cameron backed up the autumn statement announcement of a £4bn investment into building more shared ownership homes.

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Speaking on his announcement made during his visit to the East Midlands, the Prime Minister said: “From April next year, that will make 175,000 more people eligible for home ownership. It means some people will be able to buy a house, for example, in Yorkshire, with a deposit of just £1,400. It will be opened up to people of any occupation, the only restriction being that you have to earn under £80,000, and £90,000 in London.”

Paul Tennant, chief executive of Orbit Group, said: “Shared ownership is a brilliant way to help people, who would otherwise be priced out of the housing market, to buy their own home and put down roots in a community. We welcome the Government’s significant investment into shared ownership, and want to see it become a mainstream part of the housing market."

As the UK’s third largest developing housing association, Orbit Group has a target of building 12,000 homes for rent, sale and shared ownership by 2020, having already built more than 3,300 since April 2013. 

Orbit has seen its shared ownership sales double this year, and expects to see them double again next year. To date for 2015-16 there have been 265 completions, with 131 completions in the Midlands alone.

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Mother-of-one, Gemma Hayes, from Burton upon Trent, is hoping to be able to buy a shared ownership home in the area, where Orbit has three sites under construction. 

The 25-year-old said: “Even though my partner and I work full-time, we are struggling to get a mortgage to buy on the open market. Shared ownership is our only chance of owning our own home. We would love to be able to move into a new home in the area which is close to our jobs.”

Paul Tennant, chief executive of Orbit Group, said: “There is huge demand for shared ownership homes and it’s incredibly popular, especially with young people and families. We need more affordable homes of all types, and over the next five years Orbit will be delivering around 8,000 homes for rent, sale and shared ownership to meet a range of need and aspiration.”