Give the young generation a chance.
Over half of the under 35’s today have no chance of ever owning their own home, so can”t we at least let them rent a home with some security and at a rent that reflects average local wages. If this does not happen soon, then we are in for some serious social and financial upheaval in the future. Decent social housing is paramount for a contented society and makes lots of sense for employers which in turn benefits everyone. Raping the vulnerable with extortionate rents benefits just a few leaving a large section of society discontent and in turn less productive.
I have nothing against the right to buy for housing association tenants but these properties once sold need to be replaced with at least as many as have been sold. Time will only tell if this desperately needed social housing will ever be replaced but judging by what happened last time very few new homes are likely be built.
We have a moral duty of care to look after our younger generations which we are largely reneging on and at the very least looking the other way at their plight and at worst ripping them off for personal gain. A good society is a just and caring society and ultimately if we are not just and caring it will come back and bite us just when we are not expecting it.
The Conservative party’s flagship right-to-buy election promise has been branded “criminal” by the Labour MP Diane Abbott, who called the scheme an attempt to bribe the electorate with assets the Tories don’t own.
Abbott said the original policy, introduced in 1980 by Margaret Thatcher, had led to one-third of all homes sold under it falling into the hands of private landlords who then let them out at higher rents at huge cost to the state in housing benefit. Expanding it to include tenants of housing associations, which are independent bodies, would destroy their economic impact, she argued.
“The Tory proposal to allow people to buy their housing association flats at big discounts is just criminal,” she said. “They’re attempting to bribe the electorate with assets that did not belong to them.”
The Conservatives’ plan to expand the right-to-buy scheme to allow England’s 1.3 million housing association tenants was a headline pledge of their general election campaign. Under the plans, tenants can purchase their homes at discounts of up to £77,000 outside London or £102,700 in the capital. The original right-to-buy scheme was hugely successful, but the recent extension has been widely criticised.
Speaking at a Guardian Live event on the housing crisis in London, Abbott, a London mayoral hopeful, said Labour’s housing policies during the election were too timid. She claimed the Conservatives’ housing benefit cap, which Labour has failed to oppose, is resulting in social cleansing in London by forcing councils to relocate families out of the capital into cheaper areas of the country.
“What the government is saying is that poor people should not live in zones one and two,” Abbot said. “We will become like Paris, where only the middle and upper classes can live in the centre.”
The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington said the majority of her constituents would not be able to buy a home in the area and called for rent controls and stricter regulations for landlords. “Anything that cools the market would be a good thing,” she said.
Non-domiciled overseas investors should be prevented from buying up new London homes before they are made available to British buyers, Abbott argued, and developers should not be allowed to avoid their obligation to build homes for social housing.
New social homes should also be rented at rates determined by average local wages, she said.
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