§ Mr. Robert Atkins
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about shared ownership schemes.
§ Mr. Stanley
My right hon. Friend and I wish to encourage shared ownership schemes whereby people can part-own and part-rent their homes. They offer a valuable first step to home-ownership for those for whom outright home-ownership is impossible.
The schemes operated by local authorities have usually contained an option for the lessee to purchase the freehold (or other) reversion. Although certain local authorities have received advice to the contrary, I am advised that authorities have at present no power to grant options to persons to buy council dwellings, whether or not the option forms part of a shared ownership arrangement.
In order to protect the position of those who have entered into such arrangements, or are planning to do so, I intend 648W to ask Parliament to put beyond doubt the validity of existing arrangements containing an option, and to make such arrangements lawful for the future. Provisions to that effect will be included in forthcoming legislation on housing.