New social housing plans branded ‘pitiful’

Social housing tenants could be allowed to buy a fraction of the value of their property each year under new government plans.

Introducing league tables of landlords is also among suggestions being considered by ministers as part of a “new deal” for social housing.

The proposals were included in the government’s long-awaited social housing green paper. It outlines how ministers plan to improve the quality of low cost homes in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The former housing secretary, Sajid Javid, had promised the document would be “the most substantial report of its kind for a generation”.

However, Labour said the published “pitiful” plan showed the government “has run out of ideas”.

Under the proposals, tenants who buy a property using shared ownership schemes would be allowed to purchase a minimum of 1 per cent of the value of their home each year – equating to just several hundred pounds in some parts of the country.

Current rules state that prospective owners must be able to pay 10 per cent of the value of their home upfront. This stops many tenants from getting a foot on the housing ladder.

James Brokenshire, the housing secretary, said the government’s “new deal” for social housing would “improve fairness, quality and safety for residents”.

He said: “Providing high quality and well managed social housing is a core priority for this government.

“Our green paper offers a landmark opportunity for major reform to improve fairness, quality and safety for residents living in social housing across the country.

“Regardless of whether you own your home or rent, residents deserve security, dignity and the opportunities to build a better life.”

Plans for the green paper were announced after the Grenfell Tower disaster prompted ministers to bow to pressure to invest in social housing.

In the weeks after the blaze, Mr Javid admitted the Tories had “failed” on housing and promised a “fundamental rethink”.

TNT News

Photo Credit: Julian Paren

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