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Shared Ownership’s Time to Shine

Posted 19 September 2019 by Helen Christie

To mark Shared Ownership Week, WhatHouse? speaks to Stuart Hensby of Radian Homes, about the need for schemes such as Shared Ownership...

Stuart Hensby, head of sales and marketing at Radian Homes, shares a thought-leadership piece with WhatHouse?, looking at why this is Shared Ownership’s time to shine…

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick’s announcement this week will come as a breath of fresh air to those looking to staircase and own more of their Shared Ownership home. Increasing the share value owned in 1% increments rather than 10% chunks will no doubt help many to own more of their home faster - the ultimate goal of the affordable housing scheme.

In these uncertain political times, people need great, affordable places to live more than ever. Jenrick’s proposals, combined with the changes to the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme in the next few years, highlight the need for products like Shared Ownership, and it’s great to see it in the spotlight.

Since its inception in April 2014, Help to Buy: Equity Loan has been a resounding success. However, the changes to cap the scheme regionally and limit to first time buyers from 2021, followed by the government’s proposals to end the scheme in 2023, will leave a vacuum in the affordable homes market. What can we, as housing providers, do to get more people onto the ladder?

Earlier this year, Savills commissioned a report which concluded that the end of Help to Buy: Equity Loan could increase Shared Ownership demand by over 15,000 homes per year, servicing the gap left behind. It’s the best opportunity in its 40-year history to become the mainstream affordable option of choice and now is the time to shake off any of those preconceived negative perceptions around it being a second-class citizen. Housing associations have a role to play here, bringing product to market more effectively, which will really help deliver more housing to those that need it most.

We are committed to making sure people have the right information to hand to make the best decisions for them, assisting and advising throughout a resident’s tenure with us, with a specialist post-sales team and an array of solicitors and financial advisers offering friendly, no-obligation advice. That’s also why we’re hosting our inaugural exhibition, Your Shared Ownership Event, on 7 September at Solent University Southampton.

Radian’s development strategy outlines our commitment to deliver an additional 3,500 new homes by 2023, and irrelevant of the forthcoming changes to Help to Buy: Equity Loan, we will remain steadfast playing our part in delivering much-needed housing through a variety of tenures.

The loss of Help to Buy Equity: Loan may leave many potential buyers worried that home ownership is now out of reach, but products such as Shared Ownership can do so much to help them take that first step onto the elusive first rung – now is the time to show them that.

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