Queen’s Speech: Tories’ housing plans

‘The government is set to roll out the biggest extension of the Right-To-Buy scheme since it was launched in 1980. New legislation will mean that around 800,000 housing association tenants who are currently eligible for small discounts, known as the Right To Acquire, will now have the maximum discount they are entitled to increased, putting them on a par with council tenants. The scheme will also be extended to include the remaining 500,000 housing association tenants who are not currently eligible to receive any discount.

With regards to planning, the government will require councils to set up a register of brownfield land in order to make it easier for developers to locate sites to build on. It will also require councils to make land available for people who want to build their own homes.

Source: Financial Times

The government’s fixation on home ownership is irrational and dysfunctional. People need homes to live in, and the pressing need is for more homes to be available (or, as UKIP and their 4m voters would have it, fewer people demanding them). Whether those homes are owned or rented is, in the greater scheme of things, comparatively unimportant. If public money is to be spent on attacking the housing crisis (as surely it must be), far better to spend it on building more homes for rent than on bribing people to buy homes they already live in.



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