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Housing Secretary unveils shared ownership plans

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has unveiled shared ownership plans that would allow tenants in housing association properties able to buy a share of their home.

Tenants in England moving into new housing association homes will be able to buy a share from 10% and have the ability to increase that stake over time for it to reach full ownership.

The government will discuss with housing associations about whether a similar scheme could apply to existing housing associations and its tenants.

Other plans include allowing families to build up to two stories to their home without planning permission but using permitted development rights.

According to articles in the national press, this will be for purpose-built blocks of flats but eventually will be rolled out to all detached properties.

Jenrick (pictured) told the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester: “As Conservatives we know that owning a home is not just about the four walls around you, it’s about investing in your family, saving for the future and putting down roots in a community.

“We are on the side of hard-working people who want the sense of security that comes with homeownership.”

Jenrick will reportedly also launch a design guide, with a national standard protecting the green belt which councils will urge new developments to take up.

Jenrick added: “Too often, new developments come at the expense of beauty, quality and design.

“This shouldn’t be the case and the Conservatives are determined to deliver homes that families and communities are proud to call their own.”

For higher fees the government will offer an option of a fast track planning service for big developers.

Paresh Raja, chief executive at Market Financial Solutions, said of the proposal: “I and others in the real estate sector have been calling for creative reforms to address the housing crisis, including the need to make it easier for house-builders to actually build.

“As such, the government’s proposed reforms to planning regulations are a step in the right direction.

“Yet given the current state of politics, now-days any big policy announcement needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

“Having the vision is one thing, the challenge is ensuring political posturing translates into actual policy and action.

“I now look with interest to the 2019 Autumn Budget, which will give the government the opportunity to turn these announcements into legislation.”


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