The ‘Housing Hub’ website, which is primarily a B2B launch, said it aims to extend involvement over time to consumers and the wider industry, including listings for specialist mortgage advisers.
At present the site lists eight housing associations and mutual lenders, but the BSA is in talks with several other lenders, including a large bank, which will list within the next two months.
The launch lenders are all mutual and include Dudley, Hanley Economic, Ipswich, Leeds, Mansfield, Nationwide, Newbury and Teachers Building Societies.
The BSA’s head of mortgage policy Paul Broadhead (pictured) said in time, the site will ramp up both the number of lenders involved and the information exchange between lenders and housing associations.
The trade body added both shared home ownership and equity loans will increasingly be “key housing options”, particularly for first-timers struggling to raise a deposit.
The Nationwide said the site will offer transparency, allowing product inconsistencies to be identified and give less experienced lenders a resource to help them enter the market.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, head of mortgage strategy and policy at Nationwide, said: “Nationwide is proud to have funded and helped drive this initiative aimed at helping improve how lenders and providers work together.”
Jack Dromey, shadow housing minister, said Labour would support and promote the website, adding: “We don’t yet know what the monitoring plans are yet for the outcomes, but I think this is a very welcome step.”
Plans for the website were first announced last year, although the site has been tweaked to focus on business to business relationships instead of consumers.
Andy Frankish, Mortgage Advice Bureau’s director of new homes, said: “This is another positive sign that the sector is being taken seriously. The thing about affordable housing is that it carries an unwarranted stigma among lenders and mortgage advisers, which the industry needs to get its head around.”
He said the sector is increasingly about professional people who can’t afford to get on the housing ladder without extra support, so raising the profile and recognition of this type of housing is key.