The government wants to eliminate Generation Rent. I think they're talking about the demographic group, rather than our organisation. They want to replace us with Generation Buy. How cute.
Sadly, their plans so far will do nothing to reverse the growth of renting and will exacerbate the rising level of inequality between people who own their homes and those who don't.
The government's flagship policy is Starter Homes. The scheme will help 200,000 private renter households into home ownership with a 20% discount on the market price of a new home. The trouble is, if you're not in one of the lucky 200,000 - that's 4 million - you won't get a discount. You also won't get to share £26.8bn of profits when you sell your starter home - read our analysis here.
A flurry of news reports in the past week have told many of us what we're already thinking: more private renters are facing a lifetime of renting.
First, the Resolution Foundation said that, in ten years' time, 90% of under-35s on modest incomes will be renting for life.
Then, PwC said 40% of Londoners will be renting from a private landlord by 2025.
And today, the government-commissioned English Housing Survey found that 57% of private renters expect to buy their home - down from 61% in the previous year's report.Read more
If you ever wonder why we as a nation are "obsessed" with home ownership when people happily rent for life in Germany and the Netherlands, consider the number of ways you can lose your home as a renter.
Even if you pay the rent on time, take care of the property, and learn your neighbours' names, you can be forced to move if the landlord decides to sell up, raise the rent to a level you can't afford, or just doesn't renew the tenancy.
A new poll from BMG finds that 27% of current and former private renters have experienced an unwanted move.
The Housing and Planning Bill has been announced and is making its way through the Commons. The government is using the legislation to drive through some major changes that threaten to weaken social housing and harm the poorest members of society.
But they're also embarking on some much-needed changes to the private rented sector which should help to root out illegal practices and improve renters' homes.
The Bill is silent on security for renters. At a time when millions of us have no option but to rent privately, we need to start having some protection from eviction on a landlord's whim: today we launched a petition calling for this. Please sign it and help us persuade politicians to give everyone a stable home.Read more
"Generation Buy". Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. For baby boomers and Generation X, buying a home was taken for granted, and no one calls those cohorts "Generation Buy". But David Cameron seems fond of the phrase and if it means that he’ll stretch every sinew to make it happen, fine.
First time buyer numbers plummeted a decade ago from a peak of 600,000 to 300,000 today, hence the rise of generation rent. Most private renters still want to buy a home, and the government recognises this; George Osborne said before this year’s election that he wants to double the annual number of new home owners.
But the Prime Minister won’t change anything about home ownership with the policy he talked about in his speech to Conservative Party Conference. “Starter homes” are his latest wheeze, following the failure of Help to Buy to revive aspiring home owners’ fortunes. These privately built homes will be sold at a 20% discount to first time buyers. If house prices keep rising at current trends, that means that in 2018, you’ll be able to buy a new-build flat at 2015 prices. Sorry Dave, but I won’t be opening the champagne quite yet.Read more
The buy-to-let ‘boom’ that has occurred over the last twenty years, coinciding with the huge growth of the private rented sector more generally, has meant this kind of mortgage has been normalised within the British psyche, but without perhaps enough analysis of what it means for the economy and wider society.Read more
This morning Greg Clark, the new Communities and Local Government Secretary, announced that the government would introduce a Housing Bill to extend the Right to Buy to tenants of housing associations - funded by the sale of high value council houses.
When faced with a housing crisis that forces millions of vulnerable people and would-be first time buyers into inadequate, insecure and expensive private rented homes, this is the last policy you would pick to fix it.Read more
The latest announcement from Labour is that first-time buyers will be given a ‘holiday’ on stamp duty for homes purchased under £300,000. With the average house price in London standing at over £460,000 it is clear this policy will only be applicable outside of the capital.Read more