City MP urges government to expand shared ownership

Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South
Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, has urged the Government to expand the opportunities for individuals to get on a Shared Ownership Scheme.

Mr Stewart secured a debate in Westminster Hall on Tuesday and made several suggestions to the Minister on how more people could benefit. This includes exploring with developers and financial institutions to see if individuals could use their pension funds to part-fund the development of some shared-ownership properties in new housing estates.

In the debate Mr Stewart said, “Imagine I had recently retired and wished to invest some of my retirement funds in property rather than in an annuity. I could do the buy-to-let option...”

He added, “Or potentially I could invest in a share-ownership property. I would still have a capital investment and gain an income from a mix of rent and releasing further stakes of equity over time. I would have greater security of tenant, and a tenant who would have a keen interest in maintaining the value of the property.”

The idea as Mr Stewart sees it would be “going back to the first principles of building societies.”

Mr Stewart also made several other suggestions to improve the Shared Ownership model including potentially linking into the Neighbourhood plan process.

In response the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis said, “Some of the issues that he raised were mentioned in discussions earlier this year with providers and in the good work done by a range of people looking at extending shared ownership.”

He added: “His speech today included some interesting and new, but challenging, ideas that we will take away and consider. I hope that he will accept my invitation to come and talk to us in the Department for Communities and Local Government. We remain committed to considering suggestions that can enhance the contribution that shared ownership can make to extending home ownership.”

Following the debate the MP for Milton Keynes South said: “I was pleased with the debate, the Minister seemed to be receptive to the ideas put forward and I hope to meet with him to discuss it further very soon. As the Minister pointed to schemes like Help to Buy are effective and popular but I think we need to go further still with expanding shared ownership.”