A lifeline for first time renters

Mar 18, 2015 10:55 AM

Yesterday's Homes for Britain rally in Westminster attracted speakers across the spectrum, from Cathy Come Home director Ken Loach to UKIP's Nigel Farage. Amid the rhetorical fireworks was a small but important policy announcement which might have passed some people by. 

The Liberal Democrat speaker, Ed Davey MP, said his party would offer government-backed loans to first-time renters under the age of 30 to cover the up-front costs of a tenancy. Generation Rent has been urging the government to adopt this policy since last year - it is already being offered to civil servants.

In today’s labour market, more school-leavers, graduates and job-seekers need to look further afield to find work, but the cost of moving home can stop someone taking a job in another town. A month’s rent in advance and another six weeks’ rent as a deposit is well over £1000 in most parts of the country.

Any support for people to make this leap is welcome, but ultimately, if it weren’t for the hideous state of the housing market, we wouldn’t need a policy like this in the first place.