Secretary of State announces right to shared ownership proposals

We’re seeking member views on these proposals to inform our response.

3 October 2019

The Conservative Party has announced plans to give tenants of new housing association homes the right to shared ownership of their home.

In a speech at the Conservative Party Conference on 30 September, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick said that the right would apply to any new housing association homes built using government funding.

We understand that this could be introduced by making it a condition of grant on new social and affordable rent homes in any future investment programme.

Tenants would have the right to purchase a share in their home, starting with as little as 10%, with the option to purchase more shares over time up to full ownership.

The Secretary of State said he is also keen to work with housing associations on a voluntary basis to explore making a similar offer to current tenants in existing properties.

No further detail on the proposals is available at the moment, but we are pressing the Government to share more information as soon as possible

Impact of the proposed changes

It is difficult to predict the impact this proposal will have without further detail, and it could affect different housing associations in different ways. However, we have some immediate concerns about what this new right could do to housing associations’ ability to build new social housing and what it might mean long-term for the sector as a whole.

Housing associations share the Government’s ambition to help more families into home ownership. They have already supported hundreds of thousands of lower income families into a shared ownership home and over the next five years, they will support record numbers into shared ownership.

However, their priority is to build social housing for the two million families in desperate need of a secure, affordable social home. We’re concerned that these proposals will make it harder for housing associations to build new social housing and could mean that less social rented housing is available to lower income families who need it most.

We have shared our concerns with the Government and we will continue to engage constructively with them over the coming weeks.

Consulting with our members

We want to hear our members’ views on these proposals. We know it will be challenging without more information, particularly as we don’t know the type of lease or model that might be employed, but we’d urge all members to start exploring what impact the proposals could have on their residents and their future plans.

We’ll be consulting with members at upcoming member events and meetings, in particular at regional chief executive forums.

We’re also keen to hear from members directly, so please email us to share your views.