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CAMERON: LET'S TREAT COUNCIL HOUSE RENT AS MORTGAGE PAYMENTS

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Conservative leader David Cameron today addressed the party's first-time buyers summit, and asked its public servic...
Conservative leader David Cameron today addressed the party's first-time buyers summit, and asked its public services policy group to look at proposals to extend home ownership through a rent-to-own programme, in which households could turn their rent payments into mortgage payments, and so in time social tenants would own their homes.

He said: 'There is a huge gap opening up in our country, between those who have achieved the dream of owning a flat or a home, and those who although they are working and striving and earning can't see how they are going to be able to achieve that dream.

'Isn't it time to look at a scheme where we can actually say to council tenants, housing association tenants, 'why not change your rent payments into mortgage payments, so that as you pay that payment over time you will own that flat, you will own that home'?

'In this way we can create a whole new generation of homeowners, we can take that revolution all the way.

'Millions of people would be able to own their own flat, own their home. Millions of people would have an asset for their lives.

'Millions of people would be able to pass property on to future generations.

'We will extend massively the whole housing market and home ownership. We will improve local neighbourhoods and communities.

'People know there is a need for new homes - they don't want their kids to be priced out of the market, they don't want their local school to close, they don't want to live in dying communities.

'But nor do they want to be overwhelmed by a rash of ugly, insensitive developments built on the back of some bogus consultation.

'People need a sense of ownership over the planning process.

'So we need to look at the whole system of incentives which operate at the moment, to ensure communities not only have a bigger say in shaping development, but also get their fair share of the economic benefit that development can bring.'

The key proposals Mr Cameron made were:

(1) Open up shared ownership schemes to a wider audience, rather than the small number of workers in the state sector at present, and end the scandal of new homes lying empty.

(2) Increase support for shared ownership schemes from within the existing housing budget.

(3) Remove obstacles to social tenants buying their own home. Social tenants to part-own their property as a step to full ownership.

(4) Examine the scope for a 'rent to own' scheme, in which households instead of paying rent, could pay a mortgage, and so over time, social tenants would own or part own their homes.

(5) Continue to campaign against Home Information Packs which will damage the health of the housing market and increase costs.

(6) Promote e-conveyancing and greater take-up of the National Information Land Service by local authorities to speed up the home buying process.

(7) Ensure more homes are built, suitable for first time buyers, whilst protecting the environment.

(8) Oppose plans for a new land development tax, which will force up the cost of new homes.

(9) Examine the role of financial incentives for councils to promote economic development.

(10) Change planning rules to encourage the creation of homes with gardens and parking spaces and tackle the under-supply of family homes.

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