Thursday, 26 February 2015

Mayor urged to ditch shared ownership

London Assembly Green Party member Jenny Jones is urging mayor Boris Johnson to work with communities to make homes more affordable.

In a report released today Ms Jones claims the shared ownership model is doing little to stop the cost of home ownership rising raster than average incomes. 

She suggests switching to co-operative home ownership models, such as community land trusts, where the home owner does not buy the land the property is built on.

The co-operative would lease the land to the home owners. Because land generally increases in value faster than the housing it contains, this would reduce the cost of the home for the next buyer.

The research, Bringing affordable ownership home, says: ‘The key to delivering co-operative models like community land trusts lies in the name.

‘The mayor [Boris Johnson] needs to work with and support local communities to bring proposals forward, helping them jump through the hoops created by the local planning system and the Homes and Communities Agency.

This follows a report Ms Jones released in January 2010, called Coming home to roost, in which she suggested both Mr Johnson and previous mayor Ken Livingstone had failed to make housing affordable.

‘The mayor is trying to provide a pool of affordable homes, but once sold his publicly subsidised barely-affordable homes rise in value much faster than incomes, so they are resold as unaffordable homes,’ she said.

‘It is like filling a bath with the plug out – the subsidy is going down the drain.

‘Co-operatives could create a pool of homes that offer low cost home ownership for generations to come.’

She pointed out the London mayor promised to promote co-operative models in his manifesto.

Readers' comments (4)

  • Jenny Jones has also produced a YouTube video explaining this, check it out:

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  • This on the face of it is an extremely sensible proposition and my only concern is that it will be diluted because of commercial interests.

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  • Mark Wood

    Surely the bulk of new homes in London are leasehold anyway or have I missed the point?

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  • Owen Hart

    Well spotted Mark Wood. Jones says "community land trusts, where the home owner does not buy the land the property is built on"

    With a lease you do not buy the land either. Leases are just like long tenancy agreements; you own nothing. The land remains with the freeholder which, in the case of shared ownership, is the HA. The leaseholder just gets to pay for all the spending decisions of the freeholder. S/O leases are completely toxic and I don't think there has been a single S/O poster on this forum who liked it so Jones may have a point. Whatever the way forward for low cost home ownership, it should not involve the awful HA sector and S/O.

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