22 November 2011
Government Housing initiative all fluff and no substance
The Green Party welcomes the government's focus on housing but believes the overriding faith in the private sector housing market is grossly misguided. Housing minister Grant Shapps has announced the £400million cash injection to help developers build 16,000 homes, plus plans to underwrite the cost of mortgages for first-time buyers.
Green Party Councillor Duncan Kerr is underwhelmed; "Grant Shapps has clearly learnt nothing about the risk of extended borrowings secured on sub-prime properties. This system has all the same ingredients, of course the government gets a large injections of cash which helps their coffers but Council tenants are saddled with an enormous debt for housing built decades ago and which for the most part have already been paid for several times over through their rents. How high do Council rents have to get before its stops being social housing at all?"
The Green Party believes government mortgage indemnity scheme is not sufficient to help younger generations attempting to get involved in the housing market, instead, the government should consider introducing a ‘mortgage bond system' which is successfully in Denmark, Germany and Sweden with people also being given the "right to rent."
Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones says; "The solutions to this housing crisis are not complex, despite attempts to make them appear so. The problems we face have been created by underinvestment in public housing, subsidy for second home ownership, encouragement of buy-to-let investment, and overriding faith in the private sector housing market to solve all problems. The solutions are simply the opposite of the failed policies of the establishment parties - namely support for a massive programme of investment in public housing, an end to subsidy for empty properties and second homes, a rebalancing of housing to focus on homes for people rather than investment opportunities, and a balance of delivery mechanisms for affordable housing. Owner-occupied housing and council housing are not the only options, although both have their place - alternatives such as cooperatively run and owned housing also need to be explored and supported."
Has the Government learnt nothing from the recent mortgage crisis? It is truly pointless to create a veneer of economic growth by mortgages being given to people who can't really afford them.
For more information please contact Zoe Hall
0207 549 0315