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Winchester launches new scheme to help first-time buyers

Winchester City Council has launched an innovative shared ownership scheme, which allows first-time buyers to choose their own home.

The council’s Partnered Home Purchase Scheme, called Myhome, offers residents the chance to choose a home on the open market, which is then purchased by the council.

Residents buy a 50%-70% share of the lease and pay rent on the remaining share to the local authority.

A Winchester couple has become the first residents to buy a house through the scheme.

First-time buyers, Naomi Beamish and Olly Biggs (pictured) have become the first residents to buy a house through the scheme.

The couple, who had been living in a one-bedroom flat in Chesil Street, were looking for a larger property that would allow them to grow their family.

Thanks to the scheme they were able to purchase a two-bedroom house in the heart of Alresford that ticked all of their boxes.

‘I cannot believe how much freedom this scheme provides, especially when compared to help to buy schemes, which are really strict on what you can and can’t do,’ said Ms Beamish.

‘There is no way we could have afforded this home otherwise, it really has worked out perfectly for us.’

A report published earlier this week by the Adam Smith Institute claimed 700,000 council tenants have been priced out of the Government’s Right to Buy scheme.

The report warned the discounts available for tenants under the scheme are not enough for them to buy their own homes.

Winchester City Council leader and portfolio holder for housing, Cllr Caroline Horrill added: ‘It is wonderful to see a young family take their first steps onto the housing ladder by taking advantage of this fantastic scheme.

‘We know only too well that affording a house in and around Winchester is extremely difficult, especially for young buyers like Naomi and Olly, and this is exactly why we have launched this scheme to ensure that there are more ways for our residents to continue to live and work in the district.

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart

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