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Levelling Up Committee launches inquiry on shared ownership

20 July 2023

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has today launched an inquiry into the two available low-cost shared home ownership schemes in England.

The shared ownership model enables people to buy a share a property, usually from a Housing Association, and pay subsidised rent on the rest. Sometimes known as ‘part buy, part rent’, shared ownership requires a smaller deposit and mortgage, making it a more affordable route into home ownership.

The LUHC’s Committee’s inquiry will examine the challenges associated with shared home ownership schemes, including barriers to achieving full home ownership and whether shared own

The Committee is also likely to explore challenges around reselling, affordability issues such as service charges and maintenance responsibilities, and questions around mortgage availability and the limited range of providers.ership is genuinely an affordable route to owning a home.

Chair's comment

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee said:

"Affordability of housing and home ownership is a key policy area, especially for first-time buyers during a cost-of-living crisis. Shared ownership has, in the past, been hailed as an answer to the housing crisis for younger people, offering the cheapest way to get on the housing ladder.

In the Committee’s inquiry, we want to examine some of the barriers to home ownership through the Shared Ownership schemes in England and also look at issues such as the challenges faced by people in reselling these properties. We want to explore whether shared ownership is providing the right answer for those people locked out of traditional home ownership and who are hit by rocketing private rents."

Inquiry focus

The Committee will be examining the Shared Ownership scheme, first established in 1980, and also the Right to Shared Ownership, which provides an alternative pathway to homeownership in England and is delivered through the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-2026.

The Shared Ownership scheme is now the longest lasting low-cost homeownership scheme in the UK. Shared Ownership policies vary between Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The LUHC Committee’s inquiry will be focussing on the Shared Ownership scheme in England.

Evidence sessions for this inquiry are likely to begin in October.

Shared ownership - inquiry terms of reference

The Committee welcomes written evidence on the terms of reference outlined below.

The closing date for submissions is Thursday 14 September.

  • Do the schemes Shared Ownership and Right to Shared Ownership provide good value for money for the potential users of the scheme?
  • How can the Government ensure that Shared Ownership and the Right to Shared Ownership remains an affordable programme in light of rising provider costs and inflation?
  • What support can be offered to Shared Ownership tenants given the impact of leasehold properties?
  • What impact, if any, are changing sector regulations having on the Shared Ownership and Right to Shared Ownership Scheme?
  • Is there a lack of mortgage providers for Shared Ownership properties?
  • What challenges are associated with repair costs being covered by those utilising the Shared Ownership schemes?
  • How viable is full ownership through the Shared Ownership scheme and/or the Right to Shared Ownership Scheme?
  • Does the Right to Shared Ownership policy in its current form reduce homeownership risks for individuals from lower income backgrounds?
  • What more can be done to secure the Shared Ownership scheme as an affordable route into home ownership?
  • How does the variation of costs from Housing Associations and other providers impact the Shared Ownership Scheme and the experience of tenants or potential buyers?
  • What should be done to improve the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ data collection regarding Shared Ownership and the Right to Shared Ownership?
  • Are alternative schemes such as ‘Rent to Buy’ viable and do they offer more value for money?
  • What more should be done to support first time buyers and those from lower hold incomes onto the property ladder?

Further information

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