The Older Person's Shared Ownership scheme
As the popularity of the Shared Ownership scheme continues to grow throughout the UK, so does a related initiative called the Older Person's Shared Ownership scheme (OPSO). Here's more information about this government initiative aimed at older people.
What is the Older Person's Shared Ownership Scheme?
This scheme is specifically aimed at people 55 and over who want to buy a new home but cannot afford a suitable one on the open market. OPSO works the same way as the main Shared Ownership scheme, with the initial share that can be purchased between 25% and 75% of its market value. A subsidised rent is paid to on the remaining share, owned by a housing association.
The difference between Shared Ownership and Older Person's Shared Ownership
The main difference is that although buyers can purchase further shares, the maximum they can purchase is 75% (as opposed to 100% in the main Shared Ownership scheme), with the remaining 25% staying in the ownership of the housing association. Another difference with OPSO is that when the owner gets to 75% ownership, they don’t have to pay any rent on the remaining 25%.
Am I eligible for the Older Person's Shared Ownership Scheme?
You have to be aged over 55 to qualify for this scheme. Otherwise, the criteria is the same as that for the main Shared Ownership scheme. The maximum household income allowed is £80,000 outside London and £90,000 inside London, and you have to be able to put down a deposit of 5% of the property price. There are also a number of other criteria needed such as having a good credit history and not being allowed to own another property.
How to apply for the Older Person's Shared Ownership scheme
In order to apply for this scheme, you need to contact your local Help to Buy agent in your area. This government-appointed agent can see if you qualify as well as giving you other information such as suitable properties in your area. They can also inform you of properties specifically designed for OPSO that have additional care and support services.