Is Family Mosaic the same as the council?
No, we are an independent organisation, but we do work closely
Is Family Mosaic a private company?
No. Family Mosaic has charitable status and any profits made are
re-invested back into homes and service improvements.
Do you manage housing for private
What is Shared Ownership?
Shared Ownership gives you the opportunity to buy a share in a
home of your own, and pay a subsidised rent on the share you do not
How does shared ownership work?
You normally start by buying between 25% and 75% of the full
value, and you may, if you wish, buy further shares until you
eventually own outright.
You need to raise a mortgage to purchase your share. If you have
a large deposit or equity from the sale of a property, this can
also be used towards purchasing your share.
We sell new build and occasionally refurbished properties, and
we also refer buyers to existing shared owners who are ready to
sell their share to a new buyer.
What are my options after buying through Shared
You can buy additional shares at a later date until you own
100%, if you wish to. This is called staircasing and the cost of
the additional shares is based on the market value of the property
at the time that you purchase the shares. If you increase your
share in the property, your rent is re-calculated and reduced
proportionately. Normally, you will be able to staircase as and
when you can afford to.
If you wish to sell your property, your share is marketed for
sale by Family Mosaic to allow other people in housing need to
benefit from low cost home ownership. The property is resold at the
market value of the property at the time of resale.
Are there any time restrictions on when I can staircase
or sell my property?
There are no time restrictions on when you can staircase or sell
your property, however for staircasing transactions you will need
to prove your affordability to purchase more equity.
Which homes are available on Shared
This will depend on schemes available at the time.
How are the properties allocated?
Once applicants are deemed eligible, priority is given to the
- Housing association and council tenants and armed forces
- Local priorities (which may vary from borough to borough)
- First time buyers
How do I know if I am eligible?
Family Mosaic has general eligibility criteria, which all
applicants must meet. It is worth noting that in addition to this,
individual properties and developments may also have eligibility
criteria specific to them - this will be detailed in the property
listings on our website.
Who can apply?
Anyone who cannot afford to rent/buy a suitable home on the open
market, but who meets the general eligibility criteria and can
afford to sustain the costs related to Family Mosaic schemes can
As well as our priority groups, namely social tenants, MoD
personnel and those home seekers identified as priority by their
Local Authority, we also accept applications from other first-time
buyers, this includes:
- People living with parents / relatives
- People living in private rented accommodation
- People who need to move for work reasons
- Homeless people or those living in temporary accommodation
Do I have to live or work in the borough in which the
property is located?
No, however priority is given to those applicants who work in the
borough in which the property is located over those who currently
live or work outside it. Secondary priority is given to those
applicants who live or work in the neighbouring boroughs.
I have a poor credit rating - am I still
You will need to re-build your credit rating before you can
If this issue affects you it is best to inform us of your
situation before you go to view a home.
I don't have UK/ EU/ EUU citizenship, or indefinite
leave to remain - am I still eligible?
You are eligible to rent (providing your leave to remain covers
the rental period). It is possible for you to buy through Family
Mosaic, providing you can demonstrate you are able to take out a
suitable mortgage, and maintain payments. This will be assessed on
a case by case basis, usually by a financial advisor familiar with
the both the schemes and lenders requirements.
I own a property abroad; can I still apply for Shared
Unfortunately you are not able to purchase through Shared
When will I get a response to my
You will get a response within 5 working days of Family
Mosaic receiving a complete application. We may require further
information from you before we can finish processing your
application, so please check your email account regularly for
correspondence from Family Mosaic.
If you have not provided an email address your application will
be posted back to you so you can complete it fully. In this case it
may take longer to get back to you, due to time spent in the postal
My application was approved, what happens
Your next step is to start looking for a home. If you see a
property listed that you think you might be interested in, use the
contact details in the listing to arrange a viewing. The contact
person will be able to answer any questions you may have about the
If I am not eligible for help from Family Mosaic, are
there any other options available that might help me?
You may be able to be housed through the Council's Choice Based
Lettings. You should contact your local Council for further
If you are a council or Registered Provider tenant you can check
with your landlord to see if they can help. You also consider the
options offered at www.homeswapper.co.uk
For social tenants, some options that may be available to you
- Social HomeBuy
- Right to Buy
- Right to Acquire
If Family Mosaic is unable to accept your application as it has
been deemed your income and/or savings are too high then you may be
able to rent/buy on the open market. To find out more information
about buying you can contact an independent financial advisor. To
find out about rental properties you can go direct to an estate
What are the costs involved with buying?
To buy you will need to be able to cover the cost of the
mortgage valuation or survey, legal fees, and stamp duty (if
applicable). You will need access to at least £4,000 in savings. In
most cases buying a home involves paying a deposit, which is in
addition to the £4,000 needed to cover the costs of buying. The
amount of deposit required will depend on the mortgage provider you
chose, the terms of the mortgage and your credit rating.
To rent you will need to be able to cover the first month's rent
in advance. You will also need to be able to provide a deposit /
bond, which is usually 4-6 weeks rent.
Every month, you will need to make the following payments:
- Your mortgage repayment, which you make to the lender
- Your rent, which is set at a low rate to help make your home
affordable - you pay your rent to your housing provider on the
share of equity that you are yet to buy
- If you buy a flat (or house on an estate with shared areas),
you will also pay a service charge for maintenance and upkeep of
these common parts
Can I buy my share with cash only?
To buy through shared ownership you will need to do what is
known as 'maximise your affordability'. What this means is that you
will be required to take out a mortgage in addition to any deposit
you may have. Even if you can afford to buy the minimum share of
the property in cash, you will still be required to take out a
mortgage. The rule may be waived for people who can't get a
mortgage due to age or disability.
Can I use housing benefit?
You are unable to use housing benefit to buy or rent a Family
Does Family Mosaic offer mortgages?
No, you will need to contact an independent lender to obtain a
Does Family Mosaic offer help with a
No, you will need to have savings to cover the deposit for your
Can I still apply if I earn slightly less than the
minimum income requirements as per the price list, however I have
minimal outgoings and have a larger deposit to put
Yes you can apply; you may wish to speak to the financial
advisor of this development first over the phone as well.
Do I have to see Family Mosaic's Financial Advisor even
if I have my own Financial Advisor or have a Mortgage in
Yes you will still need to go through an affordability
assessment with Family Mosaic's financial advisor; once you pass
the assessment then you may go with a financial advisor of your own
choice for your mortgage.
How is the rent calculated?
In 2001, the Government introduced rent restructuring rules. We
follow these rules to work out your rent using a Government
formula. We have to allocate your rent to what is known as a
'target rent'. The formula applies to rents only (not service
Your rent is based on:
- the average earnings for the area compared to the national
- the number of bedrooms in your home
- the value of your home in January 1999
- the national average housing association property value in
The Government limits the annual increase to 0.5% in addition to
the Retail Price Index.
Each year, our Group Board, which includes residents, approves
our budget including rent levels and rent increases.
In the following example, we have assumed a Retail Price
Index (RPI) figure of 1.0%.
Imagine the rent on a home is £100.00 a week and the Retail
Price Index (RPI) is 1.0%. The new rent would be:
Existing rent of £100.00 plus the RPI of 1.0% (£101.00) plus the
additional 0.5%, giving a new rent of £101.50
How is the service charge calculated?
The service charge is based on expenditure for maintenance of
the development. In the first year after a new development is
completed the developer is still responsible for some of the repair
work so this can mean it is cheaper during this period.
Are the rent and service charge fixed?
The Rent and Service Charge are reviewed on the 1st
of April each year and is in line with the cost of inflation. The
rent is calculated via the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 0.5%. The
service charge can be influenced by whether the developer is still
responsible for maintaining the developments so can be less in the
Can my parents act as guarantors for the rent and
No third party can act as guarantors. Family or friends can only
gift the deposit to purchase the property.
What do my service charges pay for?
Service charges cover the costs of maintaining communal
Who is responsible for repairs and
As the homeowner, it is your responsibility to repair and
maintain your new home. New homes often come with a guarantee that
will cover defects in your home for the first year after it was
built - the guarantee usually only covers defects in the builder's
Who pays the Council Tax?
It is your responsibility to pay the Council Tax.
How long is the average time frame from viewing the
property to moving in?
Normally if a apartment is already handed over from the builders
then the process will take around 8 weeks, however if you are
purchasing off plan then the process may take longer and will be
dependent on when Family Mosaic take handover of the
What size property can I buy?
You are allowed one more bedroom than your current needs. For
- Single person = 2 bedrooms
- Couple = 2 bedrooms
- Single person + 1 child = 3 bedrooms
- Couple + 1 child = 3 bedrooms
However, a single person with a child or a couple with a child
will be given a higher priority for a two bed property than a
single person or a couple. So although you may be eligible for a
larger size home, it does not mean that is what you will be
offered. The size of home you can buy or rent will also depend upon
what you can afford.
Can a family of 2 adults and 3 children apply for a 2
No they can't as they will be instantly overcrowding themselves,
they will only be eligible for a 3 bedroom property.
What happens if I start a family and need a bigger home
than the one I currently own?
You may be eligible to apply again and buy another home if you
are in housing need, have Local Authority support for the borough
that you are resident in and have sold your home prior to applying
to Family Mosaic. You should not spend any money on buying another
property until you have had your application assessed and your
eligibility confirmed. In order to be eligible you must still need
government assistance to be able to buy a property suitable for
Can I take in a lodger to help with costs?
You need to be able to afford the costs of buying the home
yourself. You will have a financial assessment carried out by an
Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) prior to buying your home - the
IFA will verify that the costs of home ownership are affordable for
Can I sublet my home?
Generally, the answer is no. Government money goes into
affordable home ownership schemes, so we have to control who
benefits from it. Also, if you have a mortgage on your home, your
lender will probably be concerned if you let it to someone
If you need to go aboard for work purposes then Family Mosaic
may given you discretional permission however the rent cannot be
more than your current service charge, rent and mortgage payment
Can I carry out home improvements?
Generally, yes. Obviously, you can carry out minor work such as
putting up shelves or decorating without consulting us. If you plan
to carry out major work, such as double glazing, taking down or
putting up a wall or building an extension, you'll need our written
If you are doing structural work to your home we'll need to see
plans. You should also write to us and confirm that the work will
be carried out by a reputable builder and will meet all necessary
building regulations and planning requirements.
If you are planning to carry out any major improvements to your
home you should remember that your home won't always go up in value
by the amount you spend on improvements.
For further information about home improvements, please contact
your residential services officer.
Can I keep pets?
Your lease will tell you if you can keep pets in your home.
If you live in a house there are not usually any
If you live in an apartment you are unlikely to be able to keep
Occasionally we may allow you to keep a pet even if your lease
does not allow you to (although we'll need to know what type of pet
you want to keep). If we give you permission to keep a pet you must
make sure it doesn't cause a nuisance to your neighbours. If it
does, we may withdraw our permission and you'll no longer be
allowed to keep a pet.
What is the maximum or minimum share I can
Will be dependent on the scheme but usually between 25% and
Can I choose what share I want to buy?
Yes, provided you are not buying outright and that you are
buying more than the minimum share required for the property. It is
recommended that you purchase the greatest share that it is
affordable for you to.
Is there parking available?
This will be scheme-specific, although most developments are
car-free schemes. An application may be submitted to the local
borough council for a parking permit, if there are spaces nearby
What happens if I die after buying a Family Mosaic
Shared Ownership home?
If you die, your home will be passed on in the normal way under
the terms of your will. If you have not made a will it will pass
under the laws of intestacy.