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Why shared ownership was the right option for Ruman


Introducing Ruman, a family man and business owner in Tower Hamlets. He explains why east London is the perfect location for his shared ownership home.

Meet Ruman a dedicated family man and business owner who has spent his entire life in Tower Hamlets. Having been in the shared ownership business for 12 years, Ruman shares his own journey of becoming a homeowner in a location he loves. His story sheds light on the challenges he faced as a Muslim, and how shared ownership played a crucial role in overcoming them.

Ruman’s journey to shared ownership                                         

Ruman’s journey into shared ownership started when he took up a job in a housing association, at the tender age of 16. Over the years, he worked in various housing roles, gaining a deep understanding of the shared ownership process. Eventually, Ruman identified a gap in the market – focusing on helping shared owners sell their properties. This realisation led him to establish his own business, which has served this specific demographic over the past six years.

Islamic principles and homeownership

Ruman faced a specific challenge. As a Muslim, there are certain Islamic principles that he abides by which discourage conventional mortgages. He struggled to find a suitable solution. That is, until a new shared ownership opportunity emerged…

With a 10% share option available through Poplar HARCA, Ruman and his family found a property that aligned with their values as Muslims and enabled them to become homeowners. This innovative approach allowed them to pay for the share in cash and gradually increase their ownership over time.

"I see the benefit and I see homeownership as something that most people should aspire to… but I always felt blocked out." Ruman

Challenges and affordability

One significant challenge Ruman believes prevents people from getting on the property ladder is the affordability calculator. This is a calculation that banks make ahead of giving out mortgages – that takes into account your salary.

Ruman believes that a more nuanced approach would enable more people to become homeowners. He believes banks should consider individuals who have had to spend a higher percentage of their income on housing over many years. The current 45% net to debt ratio may not accurately represent the living costs in high-value areas like London.

‘‘The problem with Inner City London is that the values have gone up significantly and so it has made it less and less possible, to get on the ladder.’’

Homeownership: Peace of mind

Reflecting on his shared ownership journey, Ruman emphasises two key positive aspects. Firstly, the peace of mind that comes with being a homeowner, ensuring stability for his family. Secondly, the ability to live in his desired location – maintaining strong family and community connections. Ruman appreciates the peaceful and diverse environment shared ownership has provided.

‘‘It should be the way forward, because affordable housing has been great for a long time… but I think it needed to evolve a bit and it needed to change and make it a lot more accessible.’’

Encouraging others to explore shared ownership

Ruman encourages people to approach shared ownership with an open mind and to explore the scheme thoroughly. He stresses the importance of understanding the process and believes shared ownership can be a suitable solution for various circumstances, including those struggling with renting or uncertain housing arrangements.

"You may have heard something negative and it may not be the right fit for that person, but doesn't mean it's wrong for you… and I think that's the one thing I think people need to do is take a step back look at your personal circumstances and assess whether it's right. I'm not saying it's a forever thing, but it's definitely the right first step."

Have you ever considered how shared ownership could turn your dreams of owning a home into reality? Find out what homes we have in east London.