The National Housing Federation has launched a new national campaign to boost the public’s understanding of shared ownership on a scale that has never been done before.
The campaign has been developed over the past two years in partnership with more than 40 housing associations. It will help to develop and deliver a clear, consistent way the sector talks about, and markets, shared ownership.
The campaign has been launched to help raise awareness of shared ownership as an option for getting on the housing ladder, in the face of falling homeownership rates among young people, families and those who struggle to save for a large deposit.
The campaign is based around a three-year advertising drive, covering print media, social media, and traditional outdoor advertising. Meanwhile, participating housing associations will get access to a suite of advertising material to help them market their own shared ownership homes. The NHF has also developed a new website (SharedOwnership.net) which, for the first time, lists shared ownership homes for sale across the country in one place, as well as providing information and advice about buying a shared ownership home.
Shared ownership was first introduced more than 40 years ago, as a more affordable way to get on the housing ladder. Buyers purchase a percentage of the value of a home, then pay rent on the rest. This means that deposits are smaller and mortgage finance is more accessible, while monthly outgoings are typically cheaper than buying or renting on the private market.
Although housing associations in England manage 320,000 shared ownership homes, and built more than 14,000 last year, public awareness of the tenure is not as high as it deserves to be. Many people also misunderstand the product, with potential buyers being put off because they think they only own a few rooms in their home, or that they have to share with a stranger. By explaining what shared ownership is and how it works, the campaign will allow the sector to address these misconceptions and encourage more people to buy a home through shared ownership.
Ella Cheney, Shared Ownership Programme Manager at the National Housing Federation, said:
“Over the last decade, it’s become so much harder to get a foot on the housing ladder. Shared ownership is a great potential solution, but the problem is that too many people just don’t know about it. When people have heard of it, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about the product. We knew the whole sector was keen to overcome these barriers, and that’s what this campaign sets out to do.
“This nationwide advertising campaign will help to raise public awareness and understanding, making sure that people know shared ownership could be just what they need to take that much-needed step onto the housing ladder.”
Amy Nettleton, chair of the campaign steering group, said:
“It has been a pleasure to chair the industry steering group for this brave and well timed campaign, it really is an industry first that we should collectively be very proud of.
“For years the sector has developed their own shared ownership brands and been successful in selling thousands of homes all over the country. But what keeps being said to us year after year is the high levels of confusion around the product. This is what we aim to tackle in the first phase of the campaign; we want shared ownership to be a conscious thought when people are looking to move home.
“What also sets this campaign apart is that we are committed to it, for an initial period of 3 years providers from all over the country are committed to spreading the word and raising the profile of shared ownership. It really is an exciting time ahead with a co created narrative that has never been achieved before.”
Housing associations that want to get involved in the campaign can visit housing.org.uk/our-work/shared-ownership to find out more.
For further information please contact:
Andrew Carruthers, press officer at the National Housing Federation
firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7067 1098 (out of hours 020 7067 1146)
Notes for Editors:
The National Housing Federation is the voice of affordable housing in England. We believe that everyone should have the home they need at a price they can afford. That’s why we represent the work of housing associations and campaign for better housing.
Our members provide over two and a half million homes for six million people. And each year they invest in a diverse range of neighbourhood projects that help create strong, vibrant communities.
For more information visit: www.housing.org.uk