When I wrote my election leaflets more than a month ago I decided to centre them on tax cuts for all, and on home ownership for the many. I had argued for good policies to allow people to keep more of what they earn, and to help more people own a home. I am pleased that the party has come up with a Manifesto that gives a central role to these aims.
We already knew about the Help to buy scheme which assists people to borrow enough to buy a home as a first time buyer. The Budget gave us the Homeowning ISA to assist in saving for the deposit, with a government top up to your savings to speed it up. The Coalition government introduced better discounts for those buying their own Council home.
Yesterday we learned about the Conservative plan for a Right to Buy extension to Housing Association properties. This is a most welcome move. All homes sold under this scheme will be replaced one for one with a new build social home. People will qualify for a discount of up to 70% of the market value of their property, cash limited to a maximum of £77,900 in Wokingham.
Conservatives also announced a Brownfield Regeneration fund of £1 billion over four years. This will be money so that Councils can clean up old sites and provide any access or other facilities they need so the land can be used for new homes. The aim is to build more affordable homes for rent and purchase.
Conservatives also intend to build 200,000 starter homes, with a 20% discount to any first time buyer under 40 years of age.
Having your own home is a natural aspiration. It has got too difficult for some wanting to start out on the housing ladder. These schemes should make a difference and bring some dreams to reality.