Sammy Wilson to meet lenders to boost co-ownership
Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has confirmed he will hold further talks with mortgage lenders to help more first-time buyers get on to the property ladder through co-ownership.
Mr Wilson made the commitment yesterday after becoming the first Executive minister to meet staff and board members from NI Co-Ownership Housing at its headquarters in Belfast.
He had been invited to hear about future plans following the allocation of a further £10m of funding from the June monitoring round. This will pay for an additional 200 affordable homes across Northern Ireland.
The extra money is on top of the £25m of funding already allocated to Co-Ownership Housing to help purchase 700 affordable homes during the current financial year.
Mr Wilson said: "The Co-Ownership Scheme is proving beyond doubt that it is helping more people take their first steps on the property ladder as well as assisting those seeking to re-enter the housing market.
"As Finance Minister I will continue to work closely with the Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland in progressing discussions with local lenders, and welcome the commitment already made by those who are offering loans to individuals on a no-deposit basis."
Mr Wilson said that co-ownership was giving the construction sector a welcome boost.
Alan Crowe, chief executive of NI Co-Ownership Housing, said that the Executive's talks with mortgage lenders and its financial commitment ensured "we are now able to deliver a minimum of 900 homes this year for co-ownership buyers, and many of those homes will be new build with mortgages provided by locally-based lenders".