Tenants who are on benefits will be offered new package to help them buy their own homes

Tenants who are on benefits will be offered new package to help them buy their own homes as Boris Johnson rekindles Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ revolution

Boris Johnson is bidding to relaunch premiership with major speech unveiling a new housing policy package The PM plans to rekindle Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ revolution by extending to housing associationsBenefits could count towards income for mortgage applications under one of the proposals from ministers Questions over how many people would be helped by the changes as no new funding is being allocated 






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Benefits income could be used to get mortgages under plans being unveiled by Boris Johnson to relaunch his premiership.

In the wake of the Tory confidence vote meltdown, the PM is making a major speech in Lancashire vowing to revive Margaret Thatcher’s housing revolution for low-income families.

He will announce moves to extend the ‘Right to Buy’, which helped millions purchase their council properties at huge discounts in the 1980s and 1990s, to housing association tenants.

He has also drawn up proposals to help families on Universal Credit get on the property ladder. One idea is to allow benefits to be counted as income when applying for a mortgage – which would require a change in the law, but could open up the dream of home ownership to millions more.

The PM is expected to talk up the potential for accelerating housebuilding through a new generation of pre-fab homes. 

However, critics have pointed out that UC is only available to families with less than £16,000 in investments and savings, meaning they would have relatively small deposits and very limited access to mortgages.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove also admitted that there is no new funding attached to the Right-to-Buy extension, with only pilot projects mooted at the moment. He refused to say how many people would actually be able to take advantage of the schemes, which give discounts of up to 70 per cent depending how long people have lived in properties.  

In a major speech in Lancashire later, Boris Johnson will unveil new proposals to boost home ownership

The PM (right) will try to revive Margaret Thatcher’s housing revolution today with a new package to help low-income families buy their own homes. But Michael Gove (left) admitted there is no new funding and refused to say how many people would be able to use the scheme 

Right to Buy became one of the policies of Margaret Thatcher, whose statue is pictured in Grantham, with around two million families given the chance to buy their home at a discount of up to 70 per cent

Whitehall sources declined to comment on details last night, but one confirmed there will be ‘something for hard workers on benefits’. 

Another source said people would be ‘incentivised to save for a deposit no matter what their financial situation’.

The source added: ‘Currently, too many people are spending huge sums of money in the private rental market when that money could be better spent on investing in their future in the form of mortgage payments on their own home.’

But plans to open up Right to Buy to all 2.5million housing association tenants appear to have been scaled back due to the cost, which one source warned could reach £3billion a year.

The new scheme has not been given any additional funding. Instead, Mr Gove has been asked to use existing funds at his Housing Department.

In a round of interviews, Mr Gove confirmed there will be a ‘cap’ on the number of people who can take advantage of the Government’s new housing scheme.

When asked what the limit would be, he suggested it would be more than a thousand but said: ‘That’s something I will be discussing with housing associations.’

Speaking on Sky News, he added: ‘We’re looking specifically at a savings vehicle that people can use in order to save for that deposit.

‘Because home ownership is not just good for individuals, it’s good for society overall.

‘We want people to have a stake in the future, we want people to be able to invest in their own home, we want people to have somewhere safe and secure, warm and decent, in which they can raise their children.’

Pressed on where the funding for the scheme will come from, he said: ‘It will come from the overall parcel, the overall envelope, of Government spending.’

Mr Gove said the Government will make sure there are new houses to replace those bought by lower-paid workers under new plans where they can use housing benefits to buy their homes and an extension of the right to buy for housing association tenants.

He told Sky News: ‘One of the things that we will be doing is making sure that there is a replacement – a like-for-like, one-for-one replacement.

‘Yesterday I introduced legislation into the House of Commons that means there will be a new levy on developers.

‘That means that when new developments occur, when new homes are built for sale by the big housing companies, we will extract some of the money that they make and some of that money will be set aside explicitly to make sure that there is more affordable housing or council housing for people who need it.’

Mr Gove added: ‘The way in which the levy works means that people can be assured that when planning permission is granted for new developments that there will be money in due course.

‘Councils can borrow against that in order to invest.’

Today’s speech has been billed as the first step in a re-launch in the wake of Monday’s bruising confidence vote, which the Prime Minister won by a margin of 211 to 148.

He yesterday insisted that ‘nothing and no-one’ will get in his way as he tries to re-focus the Government’s efforts on public priorities after months of political infighting.

In his speech, the PM will warn that the economy faces ‘strong global headwinds’, but insist that the Government has ‘the tools we need to get on top of rising prices’. He adds: ‘While it’s not going to be quick or easy, you can be confident that things will get better, that we will emerge from this a strong country with a healthy economy.’

The PM will pledge to bring forward further reforms in coming weeks to ‘help people cut costs in every area’.

‘We will use this moment to accelerate the reforming mission of the Government, to cut the costs that Government imposes on businesses and people,’ he will say.

‘With more affordable energy, childcare, transport and housing we will protect households, boost productivity and above all increase the rate of growth of the UK.’

Right to Buy became one of Mrs Thatcher’s totemic policies, with around two million families given the chance to buy their home at a discount of up to 70 per cent.

One pilot scheme in the Midlands found it cost the taxpayer £65,390 per home sold

Proposals for renters to be able to buy discounted housing association homes are not new, and appeared in David Cameron’s 2015 manifesto.

After that failed to materialise, Mr Johnson committed to considering new pilots for the scheme ahead of the 2019 general election. But industry experts have warned that giving tenants the right to buy is far more complex and expensive than the sale of council houses in the 1980s.

Unlike council houses, most housing association properties are financed through private sector debt, which needs to be paid off. One pilot scheme in the Midlands found it cost the taxpayer £65,390 per home sold.

Pilot schemes have also operated on the basis that a new property would be built for every one sold. While the plan could help avoid criticism of the original scheme, it also adds cost and complexity.

Government sources declined to comment last night on how the new scheme would operate.


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