A totally unapologetic David Cameron has announced that if his Party gains power in May, thousands of housing association tenants will be allowed to buy their homes and existing council tenants will also be able to buy certain properties owned by the council.
This was the legacy left by Margaret Thatcher’s initiatives in the 80s and has transformed the lives of a number of people in the less well off sector where properties, that they may have bought for a pittance then, are now worth a small fortune.
This was, in its day, highly innovative and instead of tenants paying rent to the Council, they took out mortgages to buy their own homes and have never looked back. Now that their properties have gone up by huge amounts they effectively have a sizeable nest egg that could act as a quasi pension and also as a means by which they can help their offspring to get on to the housing ladder.
Socialists and Marxists argue that the dichotomy between rich and poor has never been greater. This is because anyone with assets over the past 25 years has become wealthier and those without them have not.
Former council tenants who have subsequently bought them, usually take much greater care and look after them extremely well but then this asset becomes a sanctuary for their family as they become part of the great British property owning society.
Giving people the right to control their destiny and build a lasting nest egg for their families, particularly as pensions (both private and State) become less worthwhile, should be a Human Right and is to be encouraged. Ed Miliband was the beneficiary of his father’s wise investment and if there is a return of the Tory Party his children will be secure, which is a far cry from his own policies.
According to the Tory Party Manifesto the housing association tenants scheme will be funded by the selling off of some of the Council’s most expensive property and this may provide some Council tenants with an opportunity to purchase their home.
This does not do anything to change the urgent need to build more private and affordable homes in the UK and everything needs to be done to encourage this by whatever means. Funding for property development should be made much easier and an even more extensive root and branch reform of the planning process is also essential to get the housing quota up from circ 125,000 units per annum to something closer to 200,000 remembering that in the 50s (for a smaller nation) we were building 300,000 and this should be our aspiration.
Written by Trevor Abrahmsohn.
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