Affordable housing is aimed at people whose needs are not met by the open market. Eligibility criteria applies and depends on your household income and, in some cases, local connection.
There are several different types of affordable housing including shared ownership, affordable rent, discount for sale properties and Government assisted schemes such as Help to Buy.
Low cost home ownership
There are a range of low cost home ownership options across the area, including discounted open market and shared ownership housing.
Discounted open market housing
Discounted open market housing is housing provided by the developer at a discount to the full market value. The discount will be tied to a Section 106 (legal) agreement and remains on the property for future sales. The buyer owns the whole of the property, there is no third party. This form of ownership is aimed at those people who can afford to buy but not at a full market value. Eligibility criteria applies to each property.
With shared ownership you have the opportunity to buy a share between 25% and 75% of the value of the house. You then pay an affordable, subsidised rent on the remaining share. You may need to raise a mortgage to purchase your share. If you have a large deposit or equity from the sale of a property, this can also be used towards purchasing your share. Most shared ownership properties will be newly built although there is sometimes an opportunity to purchase one at re-sale.
A list of shared ownership housing is available on the Homefinder Somerset website.
There is a range of social rented and affordable rented housing across Somerset, provided by the Council and housing associations. The properties are let through Homefinder Somerset. You can find out more about the Councils affordable housing planning obligations requirements in the Affordable housing supplementary planning document 2014.