Friday, August 22, 2008

Shared ownership - A problem shared?

This month’s Roof special on Affordability makes rather depressing reading – with perhaps the exception of the new Homes and Communities Agency chair promising things will only get better (after they get initially worse).

I’ve always been a bit of a sceptic with shared ownership. It is of course a cheap form of affordable housing for the public purse and a cheap form of asset ownership for families. But there have been problems with viewing it as a panacea – as well as issues such as with key worker schemes and Social HomeBuy.

Now Roof depressingly reports that shared ownership accounts for between a fifth and a quarter of the workload of some debt advisers. If they haven’t done so already, housing associations need to critically review the way that they assess the ability of applicants to sustain shared ownership. There is some bad practice out there – and it could lead to more people losing their homes.

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