Most private tenants would prefer to buy a home under shared ownership to renting if the cost was the same, a poll has revealed.
In a survey of more than 700 private renters, 78% said they would opt for shared ownership over renting, while just under 80% said the government should be doing more to invest in housing developments specifically designed for shared ownership.
The results also showed that 71% of renters thought shared ownership offered a better balance of financial security and flexibility compared with private rented sector long-term tenancies.
The call for low-cost home ownership options comes after the government’s announcement of its intention to kickstart council house building and incentivise landlords to offer longer-term tenancies.
The research’s commissioner Nicholas McAlpine-Lee, chief executive of affordable housing provider Heylo Housing, said that given the “overwhelming” support for shared ownership highlighted by the survey, the government should prioritise this tenure over low-cost renting.
“While some social or affordable rent products should be provided by government, moving focus away from the incredibly popular shared ownership tenure seems bizarre given nearly eight in 10 private renters want
a shared ownership home,” he said.
At the start of the year, the government announced the expansion of its affordable homes programme alongside a commitment to support the development of shared ownership. However, of the 7,728 affordable homes delivered by housing associations in Q1 this year, 61% were allocated for low-cost rent and just 39% for shared ownership, according to research from the National Housing Federation.
McAlpine-Lee said that if the Conservative Party wanted to gain the support of young people, it must start listening to what they want rather than ignoring their home ownership aspirations.
Recent research by developer and landlord Aster revealed a lack of understanding of shared ownership. Some 60% of respondents said they understood the benefits of it but were unable to accurately explain what it was.
Aster has called on the government to launch a campaign to raise public awareness of shared ownership in the same way it publicised Help to Buy.
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