New Shared Ownership Council launched

A new Shared Ownership Council (SOC) has bene launched today. Its mission is to build a brighter future for shared ownership, through helping to provide a clearer, more transparent and consistent offer for consumers.

The Council is being chaired by former CEO of Sovereign Housing Association, Ann Santry, with founding funders including L&G Affordable Homes, Leeds Building Society and Heylo.

With a new Code of Conduct to help drive cross-industry improvements, SOC is a cross-industry body committed to building a better shared ownership offer for consumers. The ambition of SOC is to build on the achievements of the shared ownership sector to date, to drive a better consumer experience of shared ownership and support the market growth of the tenure.

As of 2023, shared ownership consumer satisfaction was reported to be at 56%, indicating the difficulties consumers face when exploring and entering this form of tenure.

The formation of SOC stemmed from structured research and cross-sector consultation sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group, and led by Peter Williams and, Social Finance, the non-profit dedicated to creating better and fairer outcomes for society.

In 2023 they ran a consultation process which demonstrated enduring issues in the sector, such as lack of transparency on fees and repair costs, and inconsistent marketing. Over 75% of consultees agreed on the need for reform and supported the establishment of an industry led framework.

The initial intention of this work is to address the environment within which shared ownership operates and seek to drive consistency in the information available for consumers. This may evolve over time to consider the product more closely following industry and consumer consultation on areas that most need attention. By focussing on the development of improved communications, the Council can enable consumers to be better equipped when exploring the potential of shared ownership.

The strategic direction and progress of the Shared Ownership Council will be steered by a Board, comprising of:

+ Chair Ann Santry, former CEO of Sovereign

+ Brendan Sarsfield, former CEO of Peabody

+ Paula Higgins, Founder and CEO of HomeOwners Alliance

+ Peter Williams (Advisor to the Board)

The Board is supported by Social Finance, who oversees day-to-day operations, ensuring a smooth execution of SOC’s mission. The Working Group is being incubated in the Home Buying and Selling Group (HBSG), a group of industry stakeholders across the property, legal and finance sectors who are committed to improving the home buying and selling process for consumers.

 

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