A housing assistance plan to be used to buy homes will be announced today, according to reports
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly set to announce plans to allow low-income workers to use housing benefit to help buy their own homes. Mr Johnson is expected to argue that the £30billion in housing benefit that currently funds rent payments could help people take out mortgages.
The Prime Minister is also expected to announce an extension of the right to purchase for tenants of housing associations. Mr Johnson is expected to make the announcements in a major speech in Lancashire later today.
The news was first reported by The Times, which added that a plan to give millions of renters the chance to pay for housing association properties with discounts of up to 70% will be likely limited to pilot programs at first, with no additional government funding.
The housing reforms come as Mr Johnson seeks to repair his fortunes after a deadly Tory revolt against his leaders. He survived a vote of no confidence despite the fact that 148 of his own MPs – or 41% of Tories – said they wanted him removed from No 10.
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On Wednesday, Mr Johnson said the government would ‘expand home ownership to millions of people’.
In his speech today, Mr Johnson is set to say: ‘We have the tools we need to bring rising prices under control. Global headwinds are strong, but our engines are stronger.
“And, while it’s not going to be quick or easy, you can be sure things will get better, that we’ll come out of this a strong country with a healthy economy.”
Shadow minister Jess Phillips wondered how the housing assistance policy would work as people with more than £16,000 in savings and investments are not eligible for Universal Credit. The Labor MP said: ‘It’s almost as if Boris Johnson isn’t doing a lot of work on benefits.
Plans to allow tenants to buy their social housing at a discount were included in David Cameron’s Tory manifesto in 2015, but the pledge has not materialised. Mr Johnson has pledged to consider new pilots for the program ahead of the 2019 general election.