Shared Ownership

What is a Local Area Connection?

April 11, 2024 1 minute
Warwickshire Scenery

When you buy a home through Shared Ownership, you may find that a local connection to the area is required. This is mainly in rural areas or smaller villages and market towns where land is specifically designated for local, affordable housing rather than private development. Below, we explore why local connection requirements exist, common local connection criteria and some other details around eligibility.

Why do local connection requirements exist?

Across the UK, many rural areas including smaller villages, market towns and parishes have specific areas controlled by ‘Section 106 Agreements’. 

You may sometimes hear these areas described as ‘rural exception sites’ or ‘protected areas’.

These areas are specifically designated as protected to ensure that local people can buy homes in undersupplied places where they’re currently living, working or have family.

It’s less common to find these areas in built-up areas where there’s a larger supply of property.

What is the local connection criteria?

The local connection criteria can differ from development to development but usually follows specific points including: 

  • Was the applicant born in the area and lived there for a significant amount of time?

  • Has the applicant moved to the area but lived there for a significant amount of time?

  • Did the applicant previously live in the area but move away due to a lack of affordable housing?

  • Has the applicant worked in the area for a significant amount of time?

  • Does the applicant have close relatives (adult children, siblings, parents) in the area?

The necessary time associated with these points depends entirely on the local authority but is usually around several years. 

Local connections work on priority. They’re given to applicants that have the strongest connections to the area. If properties are still available, allocation is steadily opened up to nearby areas and, potentially, entirely local authorities.

The fundamental point is that homes should be occupied by people as local to the area as possible, to ensure fairness and opportunities for existing residents.

If you want to know more about the local connection requirements for a specific development, you can email

What other requirements do I need to think about? 

While not all developments require a local connection, remember that shared ownership eligibility is also based on specific criteria, particularly around your income and your buyer status. 

You can read more about Shared Ownership and its eligibility requirements here.


Sabina is a member of the Platform Home Ownership Marketing Team. Bringing you the newest trends shaping the property market, insightful tips on shared ownership, and exciting updates on Platform Home Ownership.