The government has made some important adjustments to its proposals and we’re seeking members’ views.
The new model aims to deliver on the government’s manifesto commitment of a “fairer, more transparent” form of shared ownership.
Housing associations are the country’s main provider of shared ownership and fully support this ambition. However, we heard serious concerns from our members that the proposed new model would be more costly to deliver and could result in far fewer homes being built.
The NHF has been engaging heavily with the government on this in recent weeks. We’ve been clear about housing associations’ ambition and commitment to shared ownership - but also about our concerns on viability.
We are pleased to see a number of critical adjustments have been made in the proposals outlined in the consultation that will help address these challenges. The changes published today include:
The consultation acknowledges housing associations’ concerns about the additional costs of delivering the new model and “would expect providers to consider” these costs when applying for funding.
It confirms that the new model of shared ownership will apply to homes built through section 106 that receive planning permission from April 2021. However, it recognises that some housing associations will have bought land and be preparing planning applications using financial assumptions based on the current product. It proposes a transitional arrangement to cover this, in line with the approach used for First Homes.
The consultation asks questions throughout about how all of the proposed changes should be implemented in a way that works for shared owners and for housing associations.
We know members will still have concerns about managing the risks of introducing a new model during a time of market and economic uncertainty.
However, we hope these clarifications, including the cap on repair costs, provide the additional certainty that members will need when thinking about bidding under the new programme and what grant would be needed to ensure it is viable.
The consultation is open for four weeks, closing at 23:45 on 17 December 2020. We will be developing a response on behalf of the sector and will be engaging with members on this - details to come soon.
If you would like to share your views in the meantime, please get in touch.