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Right to Buy extension and housing benefit to count towards mortgage

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The Prime Minister is expected to announce ways to help people get on the property ladder, including extending Right to Buy and allowing housing benefit to count towards a mortgage.

Boris Johnson will give a speech in Lancashire today setting out the government’s vision to tackle the rising cost of living as well as measures to support more people to get onto the property ladder.

The government said it is committed to reversing the decline in home ownership rates which have seen the proportion of 25-34-year-olds who own their home fall from 55% to 34% between 1996 and 2016.

Johnson is expected to say too many people are spending huge sums of money in the private rental market when that money could be better spent on investing in their futures, in the form of mortgage payments on their home.

Further, Johnson is set to confirm his ambition to unlock the opportunity of home ownership for more people by helping those in a position to buy, to access a mortgage so they’re incentivised to save for a deposit “no matter their financial situation”, as well as improving the supply of housing across the country.

This is expected to include an extension of Right to Buy to housing association tenants, as well as allowing people in receipt of housing benefits to have this money count towards a mortgage.

Johnson is expected to say: “Over the next few weeks, the government will be setting out reforms to help people cut costs in every area of household expenditure, from food to energy to childcare to transport and housing.

“As we continue to deal with the covid aftershocks, and the inflationary impact of the war in Ukraine, our strategy is clear. We will continue to use our fiscal firepower to help the country through tough times – and concentrating our help where we should, on those who need it most.

“We will continue with the agenda on which this government was elected, to unite and level up across the country, building the productivity of the UK with generational investments in infrastructure, skills and technology.

“We will continue to support the NHS and to clear the covid backlogs, and to fund all other vital public services.

“At the same time, we will use this moment to accelerate the reforming mission of the government, to cut the costs that government imposes on businesses and people up and down the country.

“With more affordable energy, childcare, transport, and housing we will protect households, boost productivity and above all increase the rate of growth of the UK.”

Speaking to Sky News this morning, levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, said on the Right to Buy extension, the government would look for a “like-for-like” replacement of homes.

Further, he said “some money” would be extracted from housing companies building new properties to ensure more affordable council housing could also be built.

However, Lisa Nandy, shadow secretary of state for communities and local government told the programme: “In principle, this is a great idea, particularly for those in the benefit system. However, there is no sign any lenders are on board. The government has not done the legwork for the details.”

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