With the General Election around the corner, every party is showing what they’ve got, and the Tories – with David Cameron at the front – are trying to convince people that they are “the party of the working people, offering security at every stage of your life” by addressing one of the biggest problems of the population – home ownership.
Among many campaign promises in the Tory manifesto to attract the working class vote, we can find an extension of Thatcher’s famous 1980’s policy “Right to Buy” for tenants of housing associations. Cameron promises to spend £1 billion to build 400,000 brand new homes – over a period of five years – to boost home ownership, allowing 1.3m families in social housing to finally buy their own homes. Cameron added that this extension would mean that “a new generation [will be] given the security of a home of their own. So this generation of Conservatives can proudly say: the dream of a property-owning democracy is alive – and we will fulfil it.”
This would mean that under 40s – the most affected age group when talking about home ownership – could finally get on the property ladder in these new homes. The Tories have estimated that this ownership scheme will lead to the sale of around 150,000 properties, raising £4.5billion annually.
The detractors of this plan have stated that the focus should be on increasing the supply of affordable housing and as Ruth Davison, director of policy and external affairs at the National Housing Federation, suggested: “These are people already living in good secure homes on some of the country’s cheapest rents. It won’t help the millions of people in private rented homes who are desperate to buy but have no hope of doing so, nor the three million adult children living with their parents because they can’t afford to rent or buy. To use their taxes to gift as much as £100,000 to someone already living in a good quality home is deeply unfair.” The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) added that housing associations would need to be “recompensed for selling their assets at below market value“.
by Sandra Martinez