Update on Right to Shared Ownership

The Government has announced changes to the shared ownership model, and that it intends to take forward Right to Shared Ownership as an official government policy.

17 October 2019

In a press statement today, Secretary of State Robert Jenrick, said:

  • Tenants of all new housing association homes built with grant funding will get a Right to Shared Ownership (RTSO).
  • The Government will work with housing associations on a voluntary basis to determine what offer can be made to tenants in existing homes.
  • For all shared ownership homes, whether RTSO or sold on the market, the minimum stake required will reduce from 25% to 10% and residents will be able to staircase by 1%.
  • The resales process will be streamlined and fees will be made ‘fairer and more proportional’.

The Government has not confirmed when these changes will be implemented and we will be seeking further details at our meeting with the Secretary of State next week.

Some of the changes – the 1% staircasing and streamlining the resales process – were proposed in the recent government consultation on shared ownership, which we responded to. The changes to the initial purchase share and fees have not been previously proposed.

Federation view

We know that housing associations share the commitment to make home ownership more affordable and accessible for people on lower incomes, and have a brilliant track record in shared ownership. We also know that housing associations support the aim of the Government’s proposals to improve the experience shared owners have of the product.

There is still little detail on how these changes will work and when they will be introduced. However, following discussions and feedback we’ve had with members so far, we remain concerned that the RTSO could affect housing associations’ ability to build new homes and invest in existing homes and communities.

Going forward, our board has agreed three key questions to help guide our approach on this work:

  • What impact will it have on the supply of new social rent homes?
  • What impact will it have on levels of existing social rent homes?
  • What impact will it have on other critical areas of work such as building safety?

We will work with our members to test all proposals against these three questions.

Next steps

We’re working to understand what impact our members think the changes might have, based on the detail so far, through discussions at upcoming meetings and events.  

If you have any questions, or would like to share your views, please get in touch with us.

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