Shared equity schemes increase access to housing and home ownership.
Older people will have greater access to affordable homes with the introduction of greater flexibility to shared equity schemes, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has announced.
For the first time, older people will be able to access a range of home ownership schemes offered by the Scottish Government. These can remove the requirement for a mortgage contribution and make older people a priority access group. It can also provide options that brings older people closer to family and care support, and are more affordable and suitable for their needs – including downsizing, or the option to buy a retirement or supported home.
The Minister made the announcement during a visit to the Link Group managed Abbey Place development in Paisley, a successful pilot project targeted at those aged 60 and over. The development includes 38 ‘independent living’ homes, aimed at retirement living, through shared equity and social rent.
Mr Stewart said:
“People are living longer, which is to be celebrated, and I want to ensure they can access high quality and affordable housing that meets their needs and enables them to continue living independently.
“For the first time ever, older people will have more choice and empowered to make the best decision for them. That could mean downsizing, buying a retirement home, or moving to a property that brings them closer to the support they need.
“As people get older their housing needs can change - we are responding to that with new and innovative solutions. These schemes can provide older people the opportunity to realise the home ownership that works for them and ensures they are part of our bold ambitions for affordable housing.”
Craig Sanderson, Chief Executive of Link Group Ltd said:
"We’re delighted that our Abbey Place development has given older people in Paisley the opportunity to buy an affordable, high-quality home suitable for retirement living.
“Schemes such as Shared Equity play an important part in helping older people purchase a home that’s right for them.”
Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council's Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said:
"We are committed to providing high quality, affordable homes which suit the needs of older people in Renfrewshire to ensure they can remain in their own home and live independently for as long as possible.
“The Abbey Place development caters for the requirements of older people and has been a key element in the ongoing regeneration of Paisley Town Centre.”
The schemes older people can now benefit from are:
In 2015, Stirling Council and the Scottish Futures Trust commissioned a research report into the housing needs of older owner occupiers. This highlighted the barriers facing older people in finding suitable accommodation to meet their changing needs, particularly households with a modest amount of equity and moderate income. These schemes will remove those barriers, and ensure more older people are able to afford and access housing that meets their needs.