U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced recently in the Conservative Manifesto, his plan to extend the Right to Buy for tenants in the Housing Associations. Anyone who has rented their property for at least three years, will be given the right to purchase their home at a discounted price. With the lack of social housing available, this will give many people the opportunity to own a home of their own. According to The Guardian, more than 26,000 homes have been sold to tenants since the discount was increased three years ago but just 2,712 replacement homes have been built. It is important to recognize though, how society has shifted into a rental culture, and we have especially seen this among the millennial generation. Unfortunately, the Right to Buy is a beneficial short-term option, and the government needs to establish ways to create long-term solutions. This new announcement has not solved the core issue of the cost of living and the low supply of housing.
The Right to Buy plan has created an array of opinions, making it difficult for the public to see how it will help the U.K. in the long-run. BBC reported that the unemployment rate in London is at its lowest in eight years, calculating to 6.2%. Job losses have aided the recession and regardless of the discount, people don't have the money to provide a deposit. If the government began to build neighborhoods full of rental-only properties, it could create convenience and affordability for thousands of tenants. This has been successful for other big cities, and it would not be a bad idea for the U.K. to follow their lead.
In addition, Redbrick Research stated that many millennials cannot afford to buy and are either not moving out of their parents homes or renting because of this issue. Yes, the discounts on housing will be extremely helpful, but with the buying culture shifting to renting, and millennials leading this trend, this solution is useless for the future generations. With this in mind, we can expect the housing market to completely change because this particular group will be saving money by renting and will most likely purchase their first home later in life when they are fully established.
The Conservative Party hopes their plan will become the most popular among the working-class, with little regard to this generation and low- income citizens. This initiative to help the housing crisis will make matters worse for people who have already been struggling. If the government begins to build housing units that are strictly for rent, the economy could take a turn for the better, and there would be a greater supply of flats available. Yes, the Right to Buy scheme is aiming to give people the opportunity to own homes, but with limited housing available, and unrecognizing society's needs.
It's important for the U.K.to know that renters will be a key factor in the upcoming election. Critics of the Conservative's plan think that the opportunity for people to purchase their homes will decrease and the shortage of homes will only become greater. The government needs to re-evaluate the Right to Buy scheme and establish a new way for citizens to live comfortably. If they focused on creating long-term options such as rent-only neighborhoods, or providing more funds to citizens with a low-income, the housing crisis could soon become a thing of the past.