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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

One year on


'If it hadn’t been for shared ownership there is no way on earth we could have financed buying a place like this.'

Image of familyThe words of Adrian Harris, who bought a three-bedroom home from Orbit in Cringleford, near Norwich, with his wife Becky and their two-year-old son Noah, capture the value of shared ownership better than any statistic or research could.

The couple took advantage of shared ownership – which allows working people with a combined household income of less than £60k a year to buy a share of a new home and pay subsidised rent on the remaining portion - to get the home they dreamed of, and they can look forward to increasing the proportion they own in the future.

"This way, we have been able to raise a mortgage on a percentage, so our total outgoings are only about £300 a month more for a far bigger and better house,” Becky said.

"The bonus is that, when our joint income goes up, we can still increase our share by staircasing, [whereby purchasers can increase their ‘owned’ share of a property up to 100% and reduce the rent paid accordingly]. It’s the perfect solution.

"We simply couldn’t be any happier. We didn’t think we stood a chance of buying a house like this, and here we are living in our dream home. When we came back off holiday recently there were no post-holiday blues, just the joy of being back in our lovely new house."

Last year CIH and Orbit called on the government to expand shared ownership to become a mainstream tenure alongside home ownership and renting, to help more people just like Becky and Adrian. In our report, Shared Ownership 2.0, we set out a series of recommendations to double the number of shared ownership homes being built every year from 15,000 to 30,000 and to make it easier to get a home.

The government listened, and the 2015 spending review included plans for 135,000 new shared ownership homes by 2021. David Cameron also announced that more people would be eligible for shared ownership homes with a new scheme rolling out from April 2016.

Since then the weight of research highlighting the difficulty for young people trying to get on the property ladder has increased even further. Our own research with Ipsos Mori this year showed 79 per cent of people think that home ownership will be out of reach for young people, even if they work hard and get good jobs. Meanwhile data by the Resolution Foundation recently showed home ownership is at a 30-year low, while private renting has continued to rise.

We believe that increasing the supply of shared ownership homes will make a big contribution to helping thousands of people who are being priced out of a decent place to call their own.

We are now working together on a new report due out in autumn which will:

  • set out what progress has been made since Shared Ownership 2.0
  • explore in greater detail the consumer demand for shared ownership
  • showcase best practice examples of how housing providers have made shared ownership work 
  • find out what else we need to take shared ownership forward

We need your help and input to help shape this report. Have you launched new initiatives on shared ownership? Has shared ownership helped your residents get a vital foot on the property ladder? What are your views on what providers need to help shared ownership become a vital means of meeting housing need? Contact us to tell us your story

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