This year I am proud to be supporting Shared Ownership Week, a national campaign raising awareness for a scheme which is offering an option to thousands of aspiring home buyers.
Over the last five years, the affordable housing sector has demonstrated considerable progress in bridging the affordability and home ownership gap; shared ownership has played an important part in this. However, there is still more work to be done and I believe it is important that young people, in particular, understand their options when it comes to home ownership.
A survey commissioned by Shared Ownership Week has revealed that 54% of 21 to 30-year-olds have never heard of shared ownership. The aim of Shared Ownership Week is to take another step towards changing this, spreading the word about the scheme and how it can be a way of getting on the housing ladder.
Home ownership is an aspiration for many people, offering stability in a temperamental market. It has a history of providing financial security, but house price inflation, with wages lagging far behind, has made home ownership seem like a pipe dream for many. This is particularly true in London where prices are higher; shared ownership is a great way to purchase in popular areas such as Wembley, Greenwich and Hackney.
The housing crisis will take a myriad of initiatives to begin to heal what many are referring to as a "broken market" and I am pleased to be supporting the vital work of the housing associations through Shared Ownership Week 2017.
Here are my tops tips for starting your shared ownership journey:
1. Attend the London Home Show to meet with the housing associations and exhibitors who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in shared ownership. It's free!
2. Check out www.sharedownershipweek.co.uk and read the case studies of people who have bought through the scheme. You might find you can relate to their story!
3. Visit the websites of our 12 partners; Guinness, The L&Q Group, Notting Hill Sales, Newlon, Southern, Hyde New Homes, Thames Valley Housing, Peabody, Clarion, Moat, Metropolitan and Network. You will find a range of listings for shared ownership homes they currently have available.
Follow Shared Ownership Week on Twitter #SOW17, Facebook and Instagram and tune in throughout the week to find out more about shared ownership, how it works and how it can help you achieve home ownership.