Bath’s MP, Don Foster has welcomed the launch of ‘Rent to Own’, a Lib Dem scheme to help young people onto the housing ladder by enabling them to buy their own home without a deposit.
First-time buyers will steadily build up a share in their home through monthly payments equivalent to rent until they own the property outright after 30 years – just like a normal mortgage.
Under Lib Dem plans, the Government would partner with housing associations and other providers to deliver ‘Rent to Own’ houses where monthly payments are no higher than market rent.
Commenting, Mr Foster said: “This scheme marks a fundamental shift in housing policy and will give young people caught in ‘generation rent’ a chance at home ownership.
“Young people deserve better. Rent to Own will mean, regardless of their background and family circumstance, they will be able to make this a dream a reality.”
In the last decade, house ownership has plummeted for the under 35s, with just 36% of 25-34-year-olds owning their own home, down from 59%. Yet, surveys show 82% of people want to own their own home.
Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Bath, Steve Bradley said: “Prices are now so high many working young people in Bath are unable to save enough for a deposit despite earning enough to meet future mortgage repayments.
“‘Rent to Own’ is about building a stronger economy and fairer society, and making sure Generation Rent has the same opportunity to get on in life as their parents and grandparents before them.”
The scheme also builds on ground-breaking work by social enterprise Gentoo Group, who have rolled out a similar scheme – called Genie – in the North East and plan to expand into London later this year.
Peter Walls, Chief Executive of Gentoo Group, said: “I am delighted the Liberal Democrats have recognised our innovation and are aiming to make this scheme scalable across the UK.
“A now proven concept, Genie has already unlocked homeownership for many that were excluded.”