Sovereign responds to the proposed right to shared ownership

As a leading housing association, we share the aspiration to help more people own their home – we’ll sell around 600 homes for shared ownership this year alone. However, we have serious concerns about the proposed right to shared ownership.

Sovereign’s Chief Executive Mark Washer said: “We believe in mixed-tenure communities, with a range of homes that meet people’s changing needs. That principle is at the heart of why we exist. It runs through our new and ambitious plans for new supply, doubling our development to nearly 2,000 homes a year across all tenures, to create sustainable and resilient places.

“This proposal comes at a time when we should be looking to make a long-term investment in homes of all types and tenures – not further eroding social housing stock. We need to be providing more homes for social and affordable rent as well as routes to home ownership, such as rent to buy products.

“More fundamentally, this initiative has the potential to significantly undermine the successful business and financial model that has enabled the sector to deliver new, quality and affordable homes for many years.

“By potentially adversely impacting the sector’s capital base, and therefore its ability to borrow and invest, this proposal could jeopardise plans for new homes at the scale currently envisaged by Sovereign and other ambitious housing associations.”

While we need to better understand the detail and the views of lenders, we urge government to think carefully about the potential impact before it applies a right to shared ownership to future development programmes.