Elizabeth Adams, Lib Dem candidate for Stratford-on-Avon at this year’s general election, has slammed Conservative plans on right to buy.
Elizabeth said, “The housing crisis in this country began with right to buy under Thatcher, where homes sold off were not replaced by decades of Tory and Labour governments. Anyone with common sense can see that we need to build more homes but today the Conservatives think that selling more off is the answer.
“Younger people, including myself, can’t afford to buy their own home and it’s a massive issue. This policy targets people already in secure housing association tenancies. What about those private renting? What about those still living with parents unable to afford a deposit? It’s telling that there’s no similar discount for those private renting, once again it’s the same old Tory party fighting for their vested interests.
“What’s worse, their conditions of councils having to sell off more expensive properties is essentially social cleansing. It will push people on low to middle incomes out of an area's wealthiest areas and into its poorest - leading to social ghettoisation. For youngsters needing to access social housing in Stratford, they’d have no chance.
“The Liberal Democrats and I will be fighting for common sense policy. We are committed to building the new homes Britain needs, with a 35% target for affordable housing in Stratford District. We are also championing initiatives like Rent to Own, which will help working people buy their first home for the same cost as renting, or our announcement to help those still living with parents who are struggling to save, get the deposit they need to rent their own property. Under our new ‘Rent to Own’ model each month’s rental payment steadily buys you a share in the home, which you’ll own outright after 30 years, just like with a normal mortgage. These policies will help solve the housing crisis and allow our children to get homes where they grew up.”
Impact on housing stock
- Tory plans would mean selling off a town the size of Swindon (186,000 local authority houses out of 1.7m homes)
- Despite nearly 1.4m people remaining on Local Authority Waiting Lists.
- The National Housing Federation has estimated that extending ‘Right to Buy’ to housing associations would initially cost £5.8 billion, but in time could cost tens of billions more as more people become eligible. (source: National Housing Federation Press release)
- They suggest this is enough to build could finance 300,000 shared ownerships homes.
Policy Exchange original plans
- The policy is based on a Policy Exchange report from 2012.
- Cameron says councils will sell of 15,000 LA properties a year. This is roughly equivalent to the Policy Exchange report, who recommend selling 28,500 social housing properties a year, where 41% of them are LA-owned
- PolicyExchange say the selling of 28,500 houses will bring in £4.5bn a year– the same figure Cameron uses, but for selling only around half as many houses
- PolicyExchange recommend spending all the money on building additional affordable homes, compared to Cameron’s plan to also fund the discounted selling off of housing association homes
Same old Tories….
- This is literally the same old Tories. They proposed this in their 2005 Manifesto – the famous ‘Are you thinking what we’re thinking’ manifesto.
- On page 22 it reads:
“A Conservative Government will extend this right to tenants of housing associations. Our plans to boost shared ownership schemes, and give social housing tenants the right to own a share of their home, will also benefit first-time buyers.”
- If the best idea the Conservatives have got for Britain in 2015 is something rejected overwhelmingly in 2005 then what does that say about the Conservative Party?
- 2005 was Lynton Crosby’s campaign- it’s the same thing all over again.
- David Orr, Chief Exec, National Housing Federation
- “As a Conservative minister recently said to me “getting a housing association tenancy in my constituency is like finding the golden ticket. The quality and price is so much better than anything in the private sector”…. [under the right to buy plan] all the private renters living in the minister’s constituency, and all the rest of us, would pay for some lucky tenants to be gifted homes that had been built and maintained for the benefit of the community.”
- “If real new money is now to be found to fund RTB, that money could also be used to build new homes rather than changing who owns them.”
- “Short term gimmicks designed to recreate the politics of the past are an expensive distraction.
- Ruth Davison, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the National Housing Federation
- “A very conservative estimate of this policy puts the cost to the tax payer of at least £5.8 billion.
- “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 policy will extend the right to buy to housing association properties, which the Tories claim will allow an estimated 1.3m families the right to buy their home.
- The proposal will allow people living in a housing association owned house to buy at a discount of 35% after occupying it for 3 years, with the value of the discount increasing by 1% every subsequent year.
- For flats the discount will be 50% after living there for three years, increasing 2% in each subsequent year.
- The total value of the discount will be capped at £102,700 for London and £77,000 elsewhere.
- Guardian reports that Conservatives say that the policy will be paid for by forcing councils to sell off their most valuable 210,000 council properties. The Guardian says that “The Government expects 15,000 of these high-value council properties will fall vacant each year”, raising an estimated £4.5 billion.
- This will push people on low to middle incomes out of an area's wealthiest areas and into its poorest - leading to social ghettoisation.
Details of Stratford Lib Dems Housing & Affordable Homes Policy in the 2015 Local Party Manifesto, copy available on request from contact@Lizdem.com or via Peter Moorse 01789 269630