Soha breaks through the magic 300 – meet Tom and Kate Smith
Published by SOHA for Soha Housing Ltd in Housing
Soha Housing recognises just how difficult it can be for people to be able to own their own home in the current difficult financial climate. This is one of the reasons why Soha has recently been focusing on their shared ownership programme, helping residents to take advantage of buying using this flexible system.
Soha has now broken through the 300 mark with shared owners, a great example being Tom and Kate Smith, who recently got the keys to their own home. They were renting and did not think that they would be able to afford to live in a new development such as Cholsey Meadows near Wallingford, but went along to an open day anyway back in April 2012. The development is a conversion of the listed former Fairmile hospital in grounds which include allotments, a cricket pitch and other features.
However, through a chance discussion around ‘wanting a dog one day’ they then discovered that shared ownership houses with gardens were about to be built. After some further research that shared ownership was in fact an ideal way to get on the housing ladder whilst putting down more permanent roots in an area they already considered home (Tom was already an established teacher at a local secondary school).
Kate comments, “Once I worked out how affordable it was I became a real pest as I was so excited about possibly owning one of these homes. I remember I was always on the phone and emailing Soha’s sales team to check on the progress of our application.”
Tom and Kate have been experiencing the community sprit since they moved in, which they feel was also helped by the fact that everyone in the neighbourhood moved into their new homes at the same time. The developers of the site (Linden Homes and Thomas Homes) are also funding a community development trust with a special emphasis on sustainability, green travel and integration with Cholsey village a mile away from the development.
Kate also appreciates the quiet rural spot on the days when she, a graphic designer, works from home. The couple are also very excited that they will be able to own more than their current 50% of their home in due course when they have the funds.
Tom notes, “There are people who will say that it’s full home ownership or nothing for them but I’d urge them to consider it. To be honest, it’s a realistic option for getting all the benefits of owning bricks and mortar at a considerably reduced cost. We were resigned to a flat and found our budget stretched to a shared ownership house!”
Notes to editors
1) Soha Housing manages 5,600 local homes across Oxfordshire. As a business, we have a genuine belief and commitment to work with residents to drive service improvement and improve their lives and community.
2) Soha aims to be excellent at providing and manageable affordable homes and services in communities where people want to live.
3) If you would like more information, please contact Chris Irons, Communications and Resident Involvement Manager, on 01235 515900 or email@example.com.