Thames Valley has commissioned a review Shared Ownership Plus scheme, which aims to assess the potential to expand the product within Thames Valley and potentially to encourage other housing associations to adopt Shared Ownership Plus.
Shared Ownership Plus was launched by Thames Valley Housing Association in 2013 which aims to promote staircasing within shared ownership. Staircasing is the process where shared owners purchase additional shares of their property from their HA, usually of 10% or more at a time. Under Shared Ownership Plus shared owners can purchase a 1% additional share annually if they so wish and at a pre-determined price with no up-front costs such as valuation/legal fees or Stamp Duty. Shared owners can use the scheme over a period of up to 15 years and acquire an equity stake up to 75% of the property value.
Shared Ownership Plus is a product has been built on previous research undertaken for them by CCHPR in 2012. This analysed the second-hand market for shared ownership properties and identified areas for improvement and highlighted the difficulties of some shared owners who wished to staircase to outright ownership or simply to increase their equity via partial staircasing. Particular barriers identified were that upward staircasing involves purchasing a minimum of 10% additional equity and the up-front additional costs of staircasing in the form of valuation and legal fees and sometimes Stamp Duty. Shared Ownership Plus Scheme, aims to address these problems, and it is understood that over 250 new shared owners have elected to join it since its launch in November 2013