Even ‘Thatcher-loving’ Tories want more social housing, says Michael Gove Business

Michael Gove said even the most “Thatcher-worshipping” people wanted more social housing, as he raised the possibility of increasing the amount of government land used to build houses.

Falling home ownership rates, combined with rising house prices and soaring private rents, mean the government needs to increase housing supply, the housing secretary said at a briefing. a conference organized by the charity Shelter.

“We have reached a situation for various reasons where the number of people living in social housing, the availability of social housing, is simply inadequate for any notion of social justice or economic efficiency,” he said.

Providing more homes is a Conservative response to the problem, he said, citing the legacy of Margaret Thatcher whose right to buy policy enabled more council tenants to become homeowners.

“The number of people who have been able to become homeowners – to own their own homes – in this country has been declining for years now. This is a cause for concern for me as a curator because I believe the aspiration to own your own home one day is a noble thing,” Mr Gove said.

“Even the most – how can I say – members of this audience who adore Thatcher, who fetishize property and who accumulate capital… you want more social housing. Because you want people to be in decent homes where they can pursue the jobs they love and save a day for a home they might want to call their own.

Lower rents would help more people save a down payment to get on the housing ladder, he said.

“If people are in the private rental sector and paying the rents, they have – especially in our big cities – the ability to save to acquire…that capital for a deposit is extremely low,” he said.

He added: “The case for more social housing – the ‘why’ – I think is increasingly well understood and has been presented by Shelter for years now. But it is an argument that has not only reached maturity , but the urgency in our political debate.”

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This notice was published: 2022-04-21 09:04:36

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