Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Generation Rent To Become Generation Buy, Says David Cameron

Generation Rent To Become Generation Buy, Says David Cameron

The Debrief: Conservative party conference closing speech comes with assumption people can afford to even rent homes to begin with…

There’s a housing crisis right now. We all know that, especially considering the average British tenant spends 40% of their income on rent paid to potentially unscrupulous landlords who see fit to hike up prices because demand is so high. The solution would be to build more houses, especially in London. But David Cameron has made a nationwide promise.

‘For years politicians have been talking about building what they call “affordable homes” but in many ways the phrase was deceptive. [True, what is “affordable” is based on what the local market averages are for a home, not what local workers can actually afford]

‘It basically meant homes that were only available for rent. What people want are homes they can actually own… So today I can announce a dramatic shift in housing policy in our country.

‘[Developers] can build here and those affordable homes can be available to buy. Yes, from generation rent to generation buy, our party, the Conservative party, the party of home ownership in Britain today!’

The idea is that, instead of new private housing developments being built on the proviso that the developers put a few rentable flats/houses in with the mix, these affordable properties will have to be available to be bought. The issue is?

Well, let’s see what Dan Wilson Craw from Generation Rent – the charity looking for a solution to the UK’s housing crisis – has to say about Cameron’s speech:

‘Starter homes will do nothing for renters who are really struggling. Under the Prime Minister's plans only 200,000 relatively well-off households will get to buy a home. But there are 5 million households who will remain stuck in private rented housing, paying out half of their income to their landlord.’

As for Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, they released a statement to say: 'You don't solve an affordability crisis by getting rid of the few affordable homes we're building, yet that's exactly what this policy will do. Today's announcement confirms our fears that Starter Homes costing up to £450k will be built at the expense of the genuinely affordable homes this country desperately needs.'

Cameron made the comments at the close of the Conservative Party Conference, FYI. This is, by the way, a week-long event held once a year in Manchester where Tories get together, battle their way through protestors hurling eggs and spit at them and talk over policies and plans to put these policies in action. All parties have them around September each year, one after the other, just like fashion week but with loads of old white blokes in suits and bad breath.

Other things he said in the closing speech were that he was a ‘hooker’ when he played rugby at school, that he took a book called ‘The Joy of Tax’ back to show his wife Samantha, that ‘there were 64 positions but none of them worked!’ and that Jeremy Corbyn is a terrorist-sympathiser for saying Osama Bin Laden deserved a trial.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

We Sent A Reporter To Find A Two-Bed In London To Rent And This Is How Hard It Got

Greedy Landlords, Extortionate Rent And No Rights. But Who's Going To Stand Up For Generation Rent?

10 Ways Of Decorating Your Rented Flat To Make It Less Shit

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Tags: Pure Politics, David Cameron, Housing Woes