4 charts that show how David Cameron's housing policy helps the rich at the expense of the poor

Jon Stone
Wednesday 07 October 2015 10:24 BST
The PM wants a shift from affordable rent to homes to buy
The PM wants a shift from affordable rent to homes to buy

David Cameron is scrapping a requirement for developers to build affordable rented housing as part of their new developments.

They’ll be allowed to build so-called “starter homes” for people to buy instead.

Cameron's housing plan

“For years politicians have been talking about building what they call affordable homes but the phrase was deceptive," he'll tell the Conservative conference in Manchester.

“It basically means ones that were only available for rent. What people want are homes they can actually own,"

The so-called section 106 agreements have in the past produced a lot of Britain's affordable rented housing.

The new policy will likely bring an end to that. Below are some of the details.

David Cameron is dismantling one of the biggest sources of affordable rented housing

The developer agreements that are being scrapped are one of the biggest sources of affordable rented housing.

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that over a third of new affordable rented housing comes from the so-called ‘section 106’ agreements. I

f developers take up this offer that source will almost certainly dry up.

There are hundreds of thousands of people waiting for these houses on council waiting lists

There is a huge demand for these sort of rented houses. Council house waiting lists number in the millions and it's difficult to see how real progress on them can be made if affordable rented house building takes such a hit.

Official council waiting list figures also likely under-play how many people want these homes.

Recent reforms by the Government have artificially shortened the lists by kicking people off them – note the higher figure from 2013 before people were excluded.

The so-called 'starter homes' to buy aren’t even cheap

The starter homes have a 20 per cent discount on their market price, which sounds at first like a significant reduction.

If you delve into the figures, it's not really a lot: in areas where houses are needed most 20 per cent is less than a year's growth in house prices.

This only puts people trying to buy a house back where they were a year ago.

The discount therefore won't help many people who couldn't previously afford it buy a house.

Only people on very high incomes will be able to afford the new 'starter home' replacements

The charity Shelter worked out how much you would have to earn to buy one of the new starter homes David Cameron is promising.

They found that families on average earnings would be priced out of the homes in 58 per cent of council areas by 2020.

Families earning George Osborne’s new National Living Wage would be priced out in 98 per cent of the country.

The average salary required to buy one of these homes is far above the average wage.

These figures are not so different from the average first time house buyer salary figures for most houses.

These houses are for the top 10 per cent of earners


You'd have to be in the top 4% of earners to afford one of these starter homes in London

The salaries required to buy these so-called 'starter homes' mean that only the highest income people in the country will actually be able to afford them.

The £50,226 salary required to buy a home covered by the scheme in England would put you in the top 10 per cent of earners before tax - all those earning over £49,000, according to HMRC's figures.

In London, the £76,957 salary required would put someone in the top 4 per cent of earners - everyone earning over £76,010.

This policy might help a few wealthy people afford to buy a house a little bit earlier - but as a flagship housing policy, it comes nowhere near to solving the housing crisis.

David Cameron's most awkward interviews

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