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Housing institute warns “golden age of home ownership” is over

The Chartered Institute of Housing has urged housing providers and the Government to come up with more housing options for those forced into rented accommodation because they are too poor to get on the housing ladder.

In a report, widening the rental housing market, the CIH says the “golden age of home ownership” has come to an end and help is needed for those unable to get on the housing ladder – a group it calls “in-betweens”.

CIH chief executive Sarah Webb says: “The ’in-betweens’ do everything the government asks – working and generally not claiming benefits – but they have been forgotten when it comes to their housing needs and aspirations. This idea that an Englishman’s home is their castle gained momentum in the 1980s with right-to-buy, and then post the 1990s downturn when people saw owning a home as not just somewhere to live but also an investment.”

She adds: “The report shows that home ownership is out of reach for a lot of people and we need to move to a situation where renting is a positive choice. A golden age of home ownership is coming to an end. The time has come to move away from the notion of ’right-to-buy’ and ’wrong-to-rent’.”

Head of policy and co-author of the report Abigail Davies says: “There is real potential for social housing providers to be creative and draw on their existing expertise to look at new approaches and develop a wider range of rented housing options.


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  1. We did have great social housing called Council Housing then along came ‘right to buy’ which decimated this stock and contributed in no uncertain terms to the credit crunch as people who should never taken out mortgages were encouraged to chase the dream of home ownership.

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