City MP welcomes plans to expand and improve shared ownership opportunities
Affordable housing campaigner and local MP Iain Stewart has welcomed the Government’s announcement to expand and improve shared ownership schemes.
Last week the Government put forward proposals in a new social housing green paper. It suggests a need for fundamental reform to ensure social homes provide an essential, safe and well managed service for all those who need it.
Mr Stewart has long argued for improving the shared ownership offer and has submitted numerous submissions to the Chancellor. A number of his ideas have been incorporated in the green paper including:
- Making it easier to ‘staircase’ - raising the money to buy additional shares – rather than 10 per cent chunks, owners could be allowed to purchase as little as 1% of their property each year.
- Cutting down on additional fees – at the moment shared owners potentially need to pay mortgage and legal fees each time they purchase additional shares.
Mr Stewart said:
“I am determined to remove the barriers that people in shared ownership schemes face. The core of the idea is to get people on the ladder and then buy up more equity in the property as and when they can afford too. Hopefully, at some point, owning the property outright.
But too many people come up against too many obstacles. Allowing people to buy as little as 1% a year would be a big step forward. Though I hope further changes will come out of the green paper’s consultation. For example, I would be keen to see a wider focus on how we can get more shared ownership properties in the market.”
The Government has invested £9 billion into the Affordable Homes Programme, including up to £2 billion for social rent.