Magazine article Public Finance

Kelly Calls for Wider Home Ownership

Magazine article Public Finance

Kelly Calls for Wider Home Ownership

Article excerpt

Council and housing association tenants should be encouraged to buy as little as 10% of their homes as a first step towards full ownership, social landlords were told this week.

Following the poor response to Social Homebuy from landlords and tenants, Communities and Local Government Secretary Ruth Kelly said it was time to stimulate the market by allowing tenants to purchase smaller shares.

Social Homebuy, which is available to just 5% of households who rent from a local authority or registered social landlord, requires them to purchase at least 25% of their home before buying the remainder on a step-by-step basis.

Speaking to the Fabian Society on February 13, Kelly said the government was still learning the lessons of Social Homebuy. 'We need to ask whether what we're offering is flexible and ambitious enough,' she said.

A review of social housing by Professor John Hills, due to be published next week, is expected to explore the boundaries between social renting and home ownership. During the past ten years, about 80,000 households have joined the property ladder through shared ownership schemes. …

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