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The shared equity scheme set up by the University of Cambridge exists to provide financial assistance to new members of staff at Grade 7 and above holding a permanent (or open-ended) appointment, and holders of certain Fellowships, with the purchase of living accommodation in the Cambridge area, where they have to relocate to take up their appointment and encounter difficulties doing so.  In this case, the University may pay for a direct share in the equity of a property purchased by a member of staff (and possible co-owner) as their primary residence, i.e. the University will buy the chosen property jointly with the member of staff.

The scheme thereby supports the mission of the University to “contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence” by ensuring that the University continues to be able to attract staff of the very highest calibre.

Overview of policy

The shared equity scheme in overview is structured as follows:

  • Maximum of £500,000 or up to 50% of the total equity (purchase price) of the property, whichever is the lesser.  The employee’s share, which must include a mortgage with the Cambridge Building Society, must be a minimum of 50% of the purchase price of the property.
  • The funds are available at completion of purchase contracts i.e. they are not to be used at exchange of contracts towards a deposit.  Participants should have their own deposit, exact figures should be discussed with the mortgage provider.
  • For the purchase of a primary residence, which is located within 20 miles of Great St Mary’s church in central Cambridge.
  • The member of staff may purchase the property with a co-owner – whether spouse, partner, co-habiting couple or civil partnership.
  • The University will require the member of staff to arrange for an independent survey of the property to be carried out, which must include the open market value and reinstatement value of the property.  The report should list the University and the participant as joint owners of the property.  The cost of the report is borne by the participant – this is in addition to the applicant obtaining full reports as listed under Section 4.
  • The University will charge interest at 2% pa, except in the event of default or other defined circumstances.
  • The University reserves the right to exclude any property for whatever reason from the scheme

For further information, please see the Policy Details here.

To whom does it apply/eligibility

Eligible to new members of staff in the following categories who need to relocate to take up their permanent appointment (from another part of the UK or internationally)

  • Professors
  • Readers
  • Lecturers
  • Academic Related and Assistant Staff at Grade 7 and above
  • Certain Fellowship (please check with HR for eligibility)

If the individual wishes to be part of the scheme, they must complete the relevant form to register their interest.  They will then be sent a participant’s pack with full details of the scheme.  You must register your interest in the Scheme within 36 months of joining the University and should complete your relocation within 42 months of your start date.  If relocation has not taken place after 42 months, access to the Scheme will be withdrawn.