Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the announcement that tenants in new housing association properties will be given the right to shared ownership of their home under new plans set out at the Conservative Party Conference.
This policy will be a major shakeup of the housing market and will provide new opportunities for young people and families to get onto the housing ladder, thanks to a national model for shared ownership.
This follows the news in August that Sanctuary Homes are building 34 properties for affordable rent in Cranham Drive, Warndon. The £4.3 million scheme, part funded by Homes England, is being built by Sanctuary’s in-house construction team and will include a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses as well as one and two-bedroom apartments. Robin has toured the site and met with Sanctuary representatives to find out more about the homes which will be a major boost to the city.
Robin is passionate about this issue and campaigned to ensure that housing association tenants in England were eligible to buy their housing association home, helping approximately 7,000 families in Worcester to get on the housing ladder and buy their own home at a price they could afford.
The new national model for shared ownership will allow people in new housing association properties to buy a proportion of their home while paying a subsidised rent on the rest – helping thousands of lower income earners step onto the housing ladder. People will be able to buy more of their home in 1% increments, rather than the 10% (or more) chunks currently required. For new housing association properties, this will be an automatic right for tenants.
Currently there are 2.6 million households, over 5.2 million people, in housing association homes who currently have no direct support into home ownership. Of these households, 64% would like to buy their own home, but only 25% expect to be able to do so. Robin raised this issue in the House of Commons as long ago as the 23rd of June 2013.
As a result, the Government has delivered over 430,000 affordable homes and 135,000 for social rent since 2010 so that the UK has the homes it needs. 1.3 million homes have been delivered since 2010, and the Government has added 232,800 dwellings to housing stock. That’s the largest increase since records began in 2010.
Speaking after the announcement, Robin said:
“Owning a home is not just about the four walls around you, it is about putting down roots, being part of a community and providing a safe and happy place for your family. We know that 80 percent of people want to own their own home, and we will always be the party that supports them to do so.”
“I am firmly on the side of hard-working people who want to play their part in our property-owning democracy. I have long campaigned for the increased supply of housing on brownfield land in Worcester and have pressed the City Council to take any action in their power to tackle empty properties. I appreciate that there is limited space within the city boundaries, but the use of brownfield land should allow for faster delivery and I will continue to advocate for this and more needs to be done to bring empty properties back into use.”
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said:
“This Government is determined to level up opportunities across the country, helping millions of people into home ownership. As Housing Secretary, I want to ensure that residents living in new housing association homes are given the opportunity of climbing onto the property ladder by giving them the right to shared ownership of their homes.”
“This means that tenants in new stock will have an automatic right to buy a share of their home, as little as 10 per cent, and increase that share over time. I also look forward to working with housing associations on a voluntary basis to open this opportunity to those living in existing properties.”
Notes to Editors
For Robin’s previous statements on housing, please see:
For Robin speech in the House of Commons on the 23rd of June 2013, please see: