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ALG CALLS FOR RADICAL RETHINK OF HOME OWNERSHIP POLICIES

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The total flop of the government's much-vaunted rent to mortgage scheme shows the need for a radical rethink on hom...
The total flop of the government's much-vaunted rent to mortgage scheme shows the need for a radical rethink on home ownership policies, according to a new report from the Association of London Government.

The government launched the rent to mortgage scheme in October 1993 in a fanfare of publicity. The then housing minister, George Young, said that the scheme was aimed at the 1.4 million council tenants who paid full rent and who could probably afford to buy their homes.

Two years later, his successor, David Curry, was forced to announce in the House of Commons that only 13 properties had been sold under the scheme. The reasons behind the flop are examined in a new ALG publication Topsy Turvy - the Government's Rent to Mortgage Scheme.

'There is no doubt that the rent to mortgage scheme has been a total failure,' said ALG housing chair Pete Challis.

'The unprecedented flop of the scheme is proof that the government's home ownership policies are not working. Why does it continue to try to push people into home ownership when mortgage arrears, repossessions and negative equity are all running at record levels?

'The government should be moving in the opposite direction and promoting initiatives to boost the social rented sector, including mortgage to rent schemes, so that people have a real choice between all forms of tenure.'

Topsy-Turvy - the Government's Rent to Mortgage Scheme highlights the flaws in the original proposals which led to its inevitable failure, and examines a package of alternative proposals to help householders who either cannot afford to buy their own homes, or do not wish to. It is available from the Association of London Government, 36 Old Queen Street, SW1 9JF. Price £5.

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