Housing Hub promotes wider access to home ownership

In the past, there has been the perception that shared ownership and equity loan models have operated at the margins of home ownership.

However, in recent years the schemes have become more main-stream, offering an alternative to more aspirant homeowners. The Government’s affordable housing agenda has already included schemes such as the FirstBuy equity loan programme in England.

These alternative forms of tenure are progressively being made available to a much wider audience across England, Wales and Scotland.

To support the development of these housing options, the BSA, with funding from Nationwide, has developed a B2B website called The Housing Hub.

The purpose of the Hub is to promote dialogue and the exchange of information between housing associations and lenders willing to lend on such properties. It is anticipated that in making the "marriage" of property and mortgage finance simpler and more open, these forms of tenure will increasingly offer another option to those who want to own their own home.

The Hub is already populated with information from eight housing associations and eight lenders, with more to follow shortly. Over time there is potential to extend access to the Hub to other interested parties and include additional information for conveyancers and brokers. Consumers can already use the Hub to find housing association developments in their local area and lenders willing to lend on such properties.

Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy at the BSA, said: "Increasingly, forms of shared ownership offer a viable alternative for young professionals, who may have household income of up to £60,000 but are struggling to raise the deposit needed to get a foot on the housing ladder.

"The Housing Hub is one of a number of BSA initiatives looking to establish a more creative approach to help house the nation. Mutual lenders are generally far more open and less likely to apply a ‘computer says no’ approach to mortgage lending."

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, Head of Mortgage Strategy & Policy at Nationwide Building Society, said: "Nationwide is proud to have funded and to have helped drive this initiative aimed at helping improve how lenders and providers work together. This is simply the right thing to do and is one more way in which Nationwide helps support families in the UK to enjoy a home of their own."

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