Frequently asked questions about shared ownership

Since the launch of our campaign, we have had lots of questions from various campaigners and advocates about our approach and our position on various housing policies relating to shared ownership. We want to answer these questions in detail so we have produced these FAQs. 

We have also produced FAQs for people who are new to shared ownership on and for housing associations interested in joining our campaign.

Why is the NHF running this campaign?

Housing associations think that everyone should be able to live in a good quality home that they can afford. They are working together to make that happen. Part of this story is their offer of shared ownership to help people into homeownership. 

It is widely acknowledged that there is a lack of understanding about shared ownership. People are often confused by how it works. We believe that shared ownership is a great product for many people. However, it may not be right for everyone and there are some eligibility criteria. But for many it works and on average it is cheaper than renting privately in many parts of the country. It also helps people who would have no other way to become a homeowner. 

Our new campaign, with its bold creative, aims to cut through the noise and to start telling people what shared ownership is and what it isn’t. Then it's their choice. 

We also know the government is proposing some changes to the product. We are keen to work with the government to ensure any changes improve the experience for shared owners without reducing housing associations’ ability to build new homes or provide services to existing tenants and residents. We are working with our campaign supporters to look at what changes could also happen to improve the journey to becoming a shared owner and to see how we can make the process more transparent and meet the needs and expectations of customers today. 

Do housing associations just do this to make a profit?

Housing associations are not-for-profit providers of social and affordable housing and by nature don’t generate profits. Any additional funds they raise are reinvested into delivering their social purpose such as community services and regeneration, providing support to vulnerable people. 

Q1. What about other affordable home options?

Q2. What's the value of shared ownership homes?

Q3. How can you buy your property outright?

Q4. What does being a leaseholder mean?

Q5. Do I need to pay for cladding and what's EWS1?

Q6. Why is it considered ownership?

Q7. Can you lose investment if you can't pay rent?

Q8. Is shared ownership another form of renting?

Who to speak to

Ella Cheney, Shared Ownership Programme Manager