Friday, April 17, 2009

It shouldn't be this difficult to own my own home |

It shouldn't be this difficult to own my own home |

The fall in house prices over the last year has meant that many people, my partner and I included, can now realistically consider buying a home. However, the problem remains that whilst there are properties which we can in theory afford, it is still extremely difficult to get a mortgage. This lack of access to credit risks extending the economic downturn and undermining young people's faith in the Government's recovery plan.

We want to buy our own home not as an investment or a way of making money, but as somewhere to live. It would give us control over our own surroundings and a stake in the community in which we've lived for three years. It would also have tangible benefits like being able to improve the building's insulation to reduce our energy bills, something which our landlord currently has no incentive to do.

I was stunned to read this on LabourList. How are these attitudes different from Tory attitudes?

I agree people should be able to buy houses, but *owning a home* is not the be all and all of society. I live in a council flat. It's nice. My neighbours are nice. There a lot's of other people who can say the same.

But under the Labour government of the past twelve years virtually no new council homes are being built.

The solution to the housing problem is for the state to build a large number of good quality "social housing". That will keep private house prices more stable, and provide lots of other people with affordable housing.

1 comment:

Bearded Socialist said...

Agreed. The lack of housing is bad enough, but when coupled with the number of second homes and/or buy-to-rent/buy-to-improve-and-sell-on/bloody TV property programmes there is a serious problem which has not been addressed since Bevan in the 1940s and 1950s.

Also, you raise an excellent point about how people in Britain see home ownership as a right rather than a priviledge. I also rent a flat which is very nice, and maybe a more rent-based culture will do Britain the world of good