CIH joins Labour Party Conference debate on low cost housing
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) will today propose radical new ways of making the benefits of home ownership more widely available to social housing tenants at a fringe session of the Labour Party Conference held by the All Party Parliamentary Group on homelessness and housing need.
Merron Simpson, CIH Head of Policy, will join Ed Balls MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, in a debate entitled What cost, low cost housing? at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester at 6pm.
Merron said: ‘It’s true that around 90% of people – including social housing tenants – aspire to own their own home, but the large majority of these tenants do not seem to be in a position to take up the offer of HomeBuy, the Government’s flag-ship low cost home ownership scheme’.
The CIH believes that a much more imaginative approach is needed – and a willingness to think differently about home ownership. Rather than thinking simply in terms of how more tenants can be encouraged to become conventional home owners, government should ask the questions
how can the benefits of home ownership be made available to many social housing tenants rather than just a few?
how can the majority of tenants be helped to become more socially mobile?
how can government and housing providers provide real choice for tenants – with a range of options to choose from?
Merron said ‘Government and housing providers should be searching for new options so that more tenants are able to build assets and take steps towards home ownership – without raiding their disposable income by tying them into a mortgage. With only so much money to go round, the current low cost home ownership arrangement makes sure it goes in dollops to a few people while those who rent get no help to build assets.’