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Industry experts launch Shared Ownership Council

  • 12/02/2024
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Industry experts launch Shared Ownership Council
A group of industry executives have created the Shared Ownership Council to offer a “clearer, more transparent and consistent service offer” for consumers in the shared ownership sector.

The cross-industry body aims to improve customer experience and support market growth of shared ownership.

The council was formed for research and consultation, sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group, led by Peter Williams and Social Finance. Issues holding the market back identified during the research include lack of transparency on fees and repair costs and inconsistent marketing.

The council will set up a voluntary code of good practice, which will be developed by a working group and tested within the wider industry and shared owners during a consultation phase.

The code will cover all organisations involved in the scheme chain, including lenders housing associations and intermediaries, and it will complement existing initiatives.

The council will be steered by a board, consisting of chair Ann Santry, who is former chief executive of Sovereign, Brendan Sarsfield, former chief executive of Peabody, Paula Higgins, founder and CEO of HomeOwners Alliance and Peter Williams, adviser to the board.

The board is supported by not for profit group Social Finance, who will oversee day-to-day operations and ensure a “smooth executive” of the council’s mission.

The working group is being incubated by the Home Buying and Selling Group and founding funders include Censeo Financial, Citra Living, Heylo, Leeds Building Society and Legal and General Affordable Homes.

Santry said that the scheme has an “important part to play in helping people achieve a stake in home ownership. It is a complex tenure and feedback indicates the need for standardisation, clarity and simplification when it comes to the sales process”.

“This new initiative has cross-sector support and we believe that together we can make shared ownership better for existing and future shared owners,” she added.

Higgins said: “I’m delighted to be part of the Shared Ownership Council as it’s a real opportunity to make the shared ownership tenure work better for the consumer. House prices have raced ahead of wages in recent years which has meant that the shared ownership tenure is set to become more mainstream as the only viable option for those struggling to afford to buy a home.

“A comprehensive code that covers all players in the shared ownership field will help to improve the experiences of existing and future shared owners.”

See the website for further information.

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