Help to Buy South has helped hundreds of people to purchase or rent their new home.  Here are just a few of the success stories:

Shared Ownership scheme surprises and delights!

Shared Ownership scheme surprises and delights!

After the end of a relationship, Kerrie Gilonis moved into a privately rented house with her eight-year-old daughter, Leila, and expected to be "paying somebody else's mortgage" for the rest of her life. Then Kerrie discovered she qualified for shared ownership, and three months ago moved into a house that she and Leila can make their home: a new two-bedroom house at Sovereign Living's Sellars Farm development in Hardwicke, Gloucestershire.

"It was so frustrating to be paying somebody else's mortgage month after month, and I felt there was no light at the end of the tunnel," explains Kerry, who works as an administrator for a logistics company. "You have a roof over your head, of course, but it's not yours and your heart's not really in it. Our landlord used to turn up unexpectedly too, which was awful."

Driving back from work one day Kerrie noticed some houses being built in a nearby village, and went to investigate. She remembers: "There was a sign with the housing association's contact details on it, so I got in touch and they told me about shared ownership. I had no idea schemes like that even existed! The houses were quite big and I knew they were probably out of my price range, but it put the thought in my mind that I could do it on a smaller scale. The housing association had given me Sovereign Living's number so I called and had a chat with Melanie Stone, the sales adviser, to talk through my options.

"I never thought I'd fall into the qualifying bracket for shared ownership, but she said it was for people exactly like me - working single parents who feel they're going round in circles putting money into someone else's property!"

Melanie told Kerrie about some two-bedroom houses being built on a new estate not far from where she lived, and suggested she went to have a look. "As soon as I walked in I knew I wanted one," says Kerrie. "I thought I'd probably need a three-bedroom house, but this was the largest two-bedroom house I'd ever been in! I stood in the hall and thought 'there's room here for my daughter to grow'. Everything was brand new, the garden was turfed and fenced, and there was even a shed, it was all ready for us."

One of a terrace of four, the house was the last property available until the next phase was built. Kerrie knew she had to move fast, but didn't believe she would be able to get a mortgage. "I honestly thought there'd be no way, but Melanie gave me some information on mortgage providers who were used to dealing with shared ownership applications, and I was told I was eligible. I squealed with delight!"

Kerrie put down the £250 needed to hold the property, and was told it was hers. "It all happened so fast - just five weeks from reserving the plot to completion - I was gobsmacked!" she laughs. "Sovereign made the process really easy; they were very helpful."

Kerrie and her daughter moved in to their new house three months ago, and are settling in well. "I love the location - just 10 minutes' drive from work and four from my daughter's school," Kerrie says. "We look out on to a field, and the estate is on the edge of the canal so there are some lovely walks. The ground space is as big as the three-bedrooms on site, so the rooms are huge. Most of all, I love the fact that it's mine!

"I stumbled across shared ownership really, and if I hadn't I'd never have managed to own my own home again. It's still like a dream; I have to pinch myself. Did that really happen?! If someone had told me a year ago that I'd be sitting in my own home today I'd have said 'no way - not unless I win the lottery!'. I feel now that when I go to work I'm putting money into my children's future, rather that someone else's bank account."

"My daughter says it's the best house she's ever had! She's made a couple of friends in the street and they call for each other and go out on their scooters. She's happy that we're settled at last, we're not moving on anywhere now"