Inquiry launched into ‘barriers to entry’ on shared ownership by committee of MPs –

A survey into the ‘affordability’ of the two flat-share schemes in England has been launched by the Leveling Up, Housing and Communities Committee.

The all-party committee of MPs will examine how successful the shared ownership scheme and the right to shared property scheme are in spreading home ownership.

The committee says its inquiry will “likely explore resale challenges, affordability issues such as service charges and maintenance responsibilities, and questions around the availability of mortgages and the limited range of providers is truly an affordable route to owning a home.”

These measures are designed to help people buy a share of a property, usually from a housing association, which then pays subsidized rent on the rest.

They are sometimes referred to as “part buy, part rent”, with condominium homes requiring a smaller deposit and mortgage, which is intended to make them a more affordable route to home ownership.

The Shared Ownership Program was first established in 1980, while the Shared Ownership Entitlement Program is implemented under the Affordable Housing Program, which runs from 2021 to 2026.

The upgrading committee will ask a number of key questions, including:

  • Do joint ownership and right to joint ownership schemes offer good value for money to potential users of the scheme?
  • What support can be offered to condominium tenants given the impact of emphyteusis?
  • Is there a lack of mortgage providers for condominium properties?
  • To what extent is full ownership viable under the shared ownership regime and/or the shared property rights regime?
  • Are alternative programs such as “Rent to Buy” viable and do they offer better value?
  • What more should be done to help first-time buyers and those with the lowest incomes to access the property ladder?

The committee invites submissions based on these questions until September 14th.

Leveling Up Committee Chairman Clive Betts said: “Housing and home ownership affordability is a key policy area, particularly for first-time buyers during a cost of living crisis.

“Condominiums have, in the past, been hailed as an answer to the housing crisis for young people, offering the cheapest way to get on the housing ladder.”

Betts adds: “In the committee’s investigation, we want to look at some of the barriers to home ownership through homeownership schemes in England and also look at issues such as the difficulties people have in reselling these properties.

“We want to determine if condominiums offer the right answer for people excluded from traditional ownership and who are affected by the surge in private rents.”