First-time buyer scheme scoops award

An innovative initiative in Merseyside which is transforming lives and revitalising
communities has won a national award.

Own Place, run by housing association Riverside, has picked up the UK Housing Award in
the Making Best Use of Stock category.

The home ownership scheme allows people, who couldn’t otherwise afford to buy their own
home, to become owner occupiers by bringing back into use properties that require
significant investment. The properties are improved before being sold at a 25% discount with
incentives for buyers to remain as owner occupiers for a minimum of five years.

James Hill, Riverside’s Director of Property Strategy, said: “Own Place plays an important
role improving the physical, economic and social prospects of the neighbourhoods we
operate so we are delighted that this has been recognised. Some of these neighbourhoods
are those which have been threatened by the lack of ongoing funding under the Housing
Market Renewal programme.

“Not only is Own Place transforming lives by giving first-time buyers a helping hand onto the
property ladder but it is also revitalising neighbourhoods by grouping properties together and
selling them to people who are willing to stay in the area and invest in the homes.”
It is hoped that the initiative will be rolled out in Carlisle and Hull following its success in
Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton and St Helens, where over 120 houses have been improved and
sold to date.