Knowledge Guides

Shared Ownership and Claiming Universal Credit Housing Costs

Posted March 19, 2024
Shared Ownership and Claiming Universal Credit Housing Costs

Universal credit is a payment from the UK Government to help people with low income or no job cover their living costs. It combines six old benefits into one monthly payment.

If you partly own your home through a shared ownership scheme, you might wonder if you can get universal credit. Here’s what you need to know.

Can I get Universal Credit if I have a Shared Ownership Home?

Yes, having a shared ownership property doesn’t stop you from getting universal credit. What matters is how much money and savings you have. But owning part of a house could change how much money you get from universal credit.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) looks at your job income, other benefits, and savings of over £6,000.

You can use a benefits calculator such as Entitled To or Turn2us to get an idea of how much you may receive. These calculators will gather information on your circumstances and then provide a breakdown of the monthly payment for Universal Credit and other benefits.

How does shared ownership affect universal credit?

With shared ownership, universal credit can help pay both parts of your housing costs:

  • Mortgage Payments: You might get help to pay the interest on your mortgage after nine months of getting universal credit through the Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme.
  • Rent and Service Charges: Universal credit housing element may also cover rent for the part of the house you don’t own.

Applying for Universal Credit online

To apply:

  1. Go online to set up an account o or call 0800 328 5644 to discuss making a new claim.
  2. If you have a partner, both of you must create separate accounts but link them when applying. You can’t apply alone if living together.
  3. Fill in details about your earnings, savings, mortgage payments, and rent.
  4. Submit proof like pay slips, bank statements, ID documents (passport or driving license), mortgage agreement, rent payments and agreement with your housing association.

After you apply for Universal Credit

You will be invited for an interview at Jobcentre Plus to check your documents and talk about your situation. It will usually take at least 5 weeks before you get the first payment if you are eligible.

Things to keep in mind

  • Your universal credit amount can change if your income or circumstances change.
  • Remember that SMI support is a loan that needs paying back when selling or transferring ownership.
  • Keep all related papers well organised for any future checks by the DWP.

Getting universal credit if you live in a shared ownership home can really help with living costs if you are eligible. Make sure to understand how it works and keep DWP updated on any income changes, changes in rent or circumstances.

Additional help and advice

For more guidance:

Understanding these points makes dealing with shared ownership and claiming universal credits easier while ensuring financial aid during tough times.