Benefit tenants are offered a new package to help them buy their own homes as Boris Johnson revives Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ revolution
- Johnson plans to revive Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ revolution with new policies
- Prime Minister pledges to implement further financial reforms in the coming weeks
- A pilot project in the Midlands found it cost taxpayers £65,390 per home
Boris Johnson will today try to revive Margaret Thatcher’s housing revolution with a new package to help low-income families buy their own homes.
The Prime Minister will use a speech in the Northwest to revive Mrs Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ revolution, who helped millions buy their town halls in the 1980s and 1990s. Johnson plans to extend the scheme to housing association tenants.
He has also drawn up plans to help families with Universal Credit to get up the housing ladder. One idea is to count benefits as income when applying for a mortgage — which would require a change in the law, but could open up the dream of homeownership to millions more.
Whitehall sources last night declined to comment on details, but one confirmed there will be “something for hard workers on benefits.” Another source said people would be “incentivized to save for a down payment, regardless of their financial situation.”
The source added: “Too many people are currently spending huge sums of money in the private rental market when that money is better spent investing in their future in the form of mortgage payments on their own homes.”
Prime Minister pledges to implement further reforms in coming weeks to ‘help people cut costs in every area’
Right to Buy became one of the policies of Margaret Thatcher, whose statue is depicted in Grantham, giving about two million families the chance to buy their homes at a discount of up to 70 percent.
The Prime Minister is expected to discuss the potential for accelerating housing construction through a new generation of flatpack housing.
But plans to open Right to Buy to all 2.5 million housing association tenants appear to have been scaled back due to costs, which one source warned could be £3bn a year.
The new scheme has not received additional funding. Instead, Michael Gove has been asked to use his Housing Department’s existing funds.
Today’s speech has been announced as the first step in a relaunch in the wake of Monday’s crushing confidence vote, which the prime minister won by a margin of 211 to 148.
He insisted yesterday that “nothing and no one” will stand in his way as he tries to refocus government efforts on public priorities after months of political infighting.
In his speech, the prime minister will warn that the economy is facing “strong global headwinds”, but insist that the government has “the tools we need to deal with rising prices”. He adds: ‘While it won’t be quick or easy, you can be confident that it will get better, that we will emerge from this strong country with a healthy economy.’
The prime minister promises to implement further reforms in the coming weeks to “help people cut costs in every area.”
“We will use this moment to accelerate the government’s reform mission, to reduce the costs that the government imposes on businesses and people,” he will say.
“With more affordable energy, childcare, transport and housing, we will protect households, increase productivity and most importantly increase the UK’s growth rate.”
Right to Buy became one of Mrs. Thatcher’s totemic policies, giving about two million families the chance to buy their homes at a discount of up to 70 percent.
A pilot project in the Midlands found it cost taxpayers £65,390 per house sold
Proposals for tenants to be able to buy houses from housing associations at a discount are not new and appeared in David Cameron’s 2015 manifesto.
After that failed to materialize, Mr Johnson promised to consider new pilots for the scheme ahead of the 2019 general election. But industry experts have warned that giving tenants the right to purchase is much more complex and expensive than selling. of social housing in the 1980s.
Unlike social rental housing, most housing association housing is financed with private sector debt, which must be paid off. A pilot project in the Midlands found it cost taxpayers £65,390 per house sold.
Pilot projects have also been carried out based on the fact that a new property would be built for every home sold. While the plan can help avoid criticism of the original schedule, it also adds cost and complexity.
Government sources last night declined to comment on how the new arrangement would work.