Shared ownership is a way of buying a stake in a property if you cannot afford to buy it outright. You have sole occupancy rights, that is you do not have to share your home with anyone else.
Shared ownership properties are usually offered for sale by housing associations (not-for-profit organisation, see Glossary). You buy a share of a property, and pay rent to the housing association for the remainder. Your monthly outgoings will include repayments on any mortgage you have taken out, plus rent on the part of the property retained by the housing association. Later, as you can afford it, you may be be able to increase your share until you own the whole property.
Over time, a number of other terms have been used to describe this kind of arrangement, including part ownership, equity share and the cumbersome 'Leasehold schemes for the elderly' (LSE schemes).
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