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Liz Truss has vowed to “unlock” home ownership if she is made Prime Minister by helping renters prove they are ready to take on a mortgage.
The Tory leadership contender said she would “break down barriers” to support people keen to get on the housing ladder, allowing more tenants to demonstrate their ability to buy a home.
According to the Government, more than half of today’s renters could afford the monthly cost of a mortgage, but various constraints mean only 6% could immediately access a typical first-time buyer mortgage.
The Truss campaign said this is because the majority of lenders do not currently take someone’s ability to pay a certain amount of rent as proof that they can afford to pay a higher mortgage, pricing them out of buying a home.
Through an upcoming Government review of the market, the Foreign Secretary would allow rent payments to be used as part of the affordability assessment for a mortgage.
She is also planning to “rip up the red tape that is holding back house building” by “scrapping top down Whitehall-imposed housing targets”.
“Truss’s Government will work with local communities to identify sites ripe for redevelopment and reduce planning restrictions – turbocharging commercial and residential development,” her campaign said.
Ms Truss said: “People are getting older and older before they get their foot on the property ladder. It’s a problem not just for the Conservative party, but for the future of the country.
“As Prime Minister I would break down barriers and unlock the opportunity of homeownership for millions of hard-working renters across the nation.”
“I will also rip up red tape that’s holding back house building and give more power to local communities.
“As a former councillor I remember those painful hours sitting through planning committees. I’ll put power back in local councillors’ hands who know far better than Whitehall what their communities want.”
Labour sources pointed to the party’s own analysis of English Housing Survey data, which suggested 211,000 fewer people of working age were homeowners in 2020-21 than in 2009-10.
In the same period, rates of private renting shot up, Labour said.