The all-party Communities Select Committee, which did such useful work on the ground rent and leasehold houses scandals, is turning its attention to shared ownership and leaseholders need to take part.
The deadline is 14 September and the details are here:
Here are the questions the MPs are asking:
Do the schemes Shared Ownership and Right to Shared Ownership provide good value for money for the potential users of the scheme?
LKP argues that shared ownership renders even more complicated a leasehold purchase and is often a dubious prospect. Purchasers are not only disadvantaged as leaseholders – they won’t get legal costs in a successful court action but can and do get the landlord’s – but also as AST tenants for the portion that they do not own.
That is, if the lease is not stacked against them from the outset, which is what drew retirement housebuilder Platinum Skies to the critical attention of The Times:
Retirement housebuilder Platinum Skies breached shared ownership rules with onerous ‘staircasing’ charges in the lease
How can the Government ensure that Shared Ownership and the Right to Shared Ownership remains an affordable programme in light of rising provider costs and inflation?
It is adding yet another complicated contract to the housing market, and providing powerful investors another legally enforceable income stream: shared owners will resist to the end losing their properties and continue to pay the rent for the portion they do not own.
This opens the gate to “for profit social housing providers” – surely a contradiction in terms? – and an income stream that can be packaged up and sold on as an alternative to ground rents.
What support can be offered to Shared Ownership tenants given the impact of leasehold properties?
What impact, if any, are changing sector regulations having on the Shared Ownership and Right to Shared Ownership Scheme?
Is there a lack of mortgage providers for Shared Ownership properties?
What challenges are associated with repair costs being covered by those utilising the Shared Ownership schemes?
How viable is full ownership through the Shared Ownership scheme and/or the Right to Shared Ownership Scheme?
Does the Right to Shared Ownership policy in its current form reduce homeownership risks for individuals from lower income backgrounds?
What more can be done to secure the Shared Ownership scheme as an affordable route into home ownership?
How does the variation of costs from Housing Associations and other providers impact the Shared Ownership
Scheme and the experience of tenants or potential buyers?
What should be done to improve the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ data collection regarding Shared Ownership and the Right to Shared Ownership?
Are alternative schemes such as ‘Rent to Buy’ viable and do they offer more value for money?
What more should be done to support first time buyers and those from lower hold incomes onto the property ladder?