Home ownership for the many

When I wrote my election leaflets more than a month ago I decided to centre them on tax cuts for all, and on home ownership for the many. I had argued for good policies to allow people to keep more of what they earn, and to help more people own a home. I am pleased that the party has come up with a Manifesto that gives a central role to these aims.

We already knew about the Help to buy scheme which assists people to borrow enough to buy a home as a first time buyer. The Budget gave us the Homeowning ISA to assist in saving for the deposit, with a government top up to your savings to speed it up. The Coalition  government introduced  better discounts for those buying their own Council home.

Yesterday we learned about the Conservative plan for a   Right to Buy extension to Housing Association properties. This is a most welcome move. All homes sold under this scheme will be replaced one for one with a new build social home. People will qualify for a discount of up to 70% of the market value of their property, cash limited to a maximum of £77,900 in Wokingham.

Conservatives also announced a Brownfield Regeneration fund of £1 billion over four years. This will be money so that Councils can clean up old sites and provide any access or other facilities they need so the land can be used for new homes. The aim is to build  more affordable homes for rent and purchase.

Conservatives also intend to build 200,000 starter homes, with a 20% discount to any first time buyer under 40 years of age.

Having your own home is a natural aspiration. It has got too difficult for some wanting to start out on the housing ladder. These schemes should make a difference and bring some dreams to reality.

 

Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both at 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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8 Comments

  1. Andy Hooper
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Housing in the UK always seems to be the point where economic rationality leaves the building.

    Problem -> ever rising prices making homes unaffordable
    Cause -> excess demand for, and insufficient supply of, housing

    Conservative policy -> Significant increase in demand for housing by subsidising demand through ISA and right to buy policies. Likely modest increase in supply through brownfield policy. Commitment to replace right-to-buy acquired housing on a one for one basis very questionable in practice.

    If a political party had the guts to do so, a meaningful set of policies in housing could cap demand and increase supply, leading to a more balanced market and real affordability increases for first time buyers over time. These policy announcements have made me less likely to vote conservative.

  2. James Winfield
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    So when is the problem of the massive shortage of house-building going to be fixed?

  3. Colin
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    While I’m supportive of the general idea of selling off “social” housing, I have to say that I really resent some aspects of these proposals.

    Firstly, to get into social housing you usually have to live in the local authority area already, which in practice means you have to have grown up in social housing. This effectively means that living in the inner city has become an hereditary privilege – subsidised by taxes on people who work in town, but can’t afford to buy or pay private rents there. Unless of course you’re a recent immigrant with children in tow, in which case you go straight to the head of the queue.

    As if that weren’t injustice enough, now the lucky beneficiaries of this privilege will be able to buy their homes at a massive discount, making many instant millionaires and giving all an unearned profit when they sell on – perhaps they can use it to fund the kind of retirement that the rest of us can no longer aspire to! Why should they not at least have to pay the full price that anyone else would?

    And then there’ll be new starter homes at a discount – but only if you’re under 40. This is straight-up age discrimination. Are those of us over 40 who don’t own a home simply to be written off to spend the rest of our lives in poverty?

    What about someone like me? I’m 44, and I used to own a home until I had to sell it due to unemployment during George Osborne’s three years of flatlining that he thinks everyone’s forgotten about. Now I’m apparently too old to get a mortgage, and I face a future of renting into retirement and having to depend on benefits. What is the Conservative Party going to do for me?

  4. Gumpy Goat
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Sadly none of the political parties meet this head on. It is matter of supply and demand. We just need to build more. All of them are frightened of the nimby vote, shame on them .

  5. Sue Jameson
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Partially already paid for by us mugs, the taxpayers. My daughter, her husband and two babies couldn’t get a council house if their clothes were on fire, but their taxes are good enough to pay for others to have their own houses.

  6. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 16, 2015 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    David Davis, who says he suggested a similar policy to right to buy for housing association tenants in 2002, is defending the plan from the attack by the National Housing Federation.
    He said:

    “The very fact that housing association tenants are on low rents in secure housing means these people are the least likely to move. The housing stock they occupy will never be released for people on the housing waiting list. So these are the very people who should be encouraged to buy their own home. This would increase home ownership and free up the financial capital to build or buy social housing for those who need it most.
    We currently spend billions on subsidised rents in social housing. Housing associations should focus not on the stock of houses that they own, but on the amount of housing that they can provide for those on the housing waiting list. The extension of the right to buy will increase available social housing as the housing associations will be able to build and buy new houses as they sell the ones they own.”

    To which I would add:

    The sale price must be sufficient to build a new similar home. Funds released can only be used for this purpose.

    That housing stock once released into private ownership can then only ever be sold to other buyers eligible for social housing. (This could be written into the deeds under pain of forfeiture of the property if abused.)

    The future selling price can only ever be up to the same market value to purchase price ratio of the original sale where the sale price is above the original purchase price ( This allows the purchaser to make (or lose) money but ensures other social purchasers in the future can benefit).

    The funds released by the sale are used to build new social housing stock for rent and eventual sale.The above ensures that social housing stock will grow substantially

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted April 16, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Social tenants are already heavily subsidised, giving them heavy subsidies to buy is bad news. Mortgages have been heavily subsidised by the interest rate manipulations and so on. House prices have been hyped beyond all reason making the whole country uncompetitive, and diverted investment from productive business into house price speculation.
    What you are failing to do is talk to the private tenants who seem to be paying for all this, and the many and varied problems they have.
    You have failed to help people aspire to buy by pricing properties out of reach, and so many petty ridiculous state manipulations of the market.
    A complete waste of an election, your party has messed up again.
    Please don’t support this nonsense.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted April 16, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Up to a 70% discount on market value !

    Guarantee lots of grandchildren will be clubbing together to purchase their Grandparents social housing property at these rates.

    Can you imagine the huge windfall on inheritance.

    This does absolutely nothing to increase housing starts at all.

    The only way to house people properly is to build more, which in itself is a bit of a problem when 250,000 new people come into our Country every year.

    No joined up thinking…..again !

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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