Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced a further £13m funding to Co-Ownership to provide assistance to first-time buyers struggling to raise a deposit to purchase their own home.
It was revealed yesterday that the average deposit first-time buyers need to find to purchase a home in Northern Ireland has risen to almost £30,000 in 2020, up 17% from 2019.
Co-Ownership is seeing an increase in applications as many people who would have availed of a mortgage pre Covid-19 no longer can, mainly as a result of the mortgage lenders requiring the higher deposits and tightening their lending criteria.
Read MoreLooking to buy a home? Northern Ireland's first time buyers now need £30k deposit
The £13m is in addition to the £145m four-year funding announced by former Minister Carál Ní Chuilín in November 2020. Ms Hargey said: "I understand that recent moves by lenders to tighten lending criteria has left many more people in the position where they can no longer achieve their aspirations of owning their own home.
"In the circumstances I believe there is a compelling case for an urgent short-term intervention to support first-time buyers adversely impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"This allocation of £13m will be channelled through Co-Ownership and will facilitate the purchase of an additional 422 homes to meet their increased demand and support even more people to realise their dreams of home ownership."
Source: Belfast Telegraph