PM announces HUGE housing shake up – with right to buy and mortgages for Brits on benefits

Boris Johnson unveiled the plans in a major speech in Blackpool as he tries to get his scandal-hit premiership back on track

Boris Johnson has announced plans for a major housing shake-up – extending right to buy and allowing low earners to use housing benefit towards a mortgage.

The Prime Minister said he would extend Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ scheme to allow housing association tenants to purchase their homes at discounted rates.

In a speech in Blackpool, Mr Johnson said it was “time for change” and promised “one for one” replacements for social homes sold under the scheme.

People on housing benefit will be “given a new choice to put benefits towards a first ever mortgage” under the shake-up.

“It’s time to turn benefits to bricks”, Mr Johnson said.

He also announced a mortgage review, which will report back by the autumn, looking at how low-deposit mortgages could be extended.

Boris Johnson is battling to shore up his authority after he survived a confidence vote


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Mr Johnson unveiled the plans in a major speech as he tries to get his scandal-hit premiership back on track.

The PM survived a challenge to his leadership from his own backbenchers but he is clinging on by his fingertips after 41% of Tory MPs expressed no confidence in him.

Setting out his housing reforms, Mr Johnson said the £30 billion a year spent on housing support was being “swallowed” to pay the mortgages of private-sector landlords or by housing associations.

“It’s time to put his huge wall of money – taxpayers’ money – to better use. It’s time to turn benefits to bricks,” he said.

“We are going to look to change the rules on welfare so that the 1.5 million working people who are in receipt of housing benefits – I stress working people – and who want to buy their first home will be given a new choice: to spend their benefit on rent, as now, or put it towards a first-ever mortgage.”



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In a rambling speech where he jumped from UK production of bananas to the war in Ukraine, Mr Johnson said pressures on household budgets will be “unaffordable” for some families, especially when the price cap rises again in the autumn.

He vowed to “do what we can for as long as it takes” but admitted that no Government can “shield everyone completely from the increased costs caused by powerful global forces.”

The Prime Minister said the country was “steering into the wind” following the global impact of the Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – but he vowed “we will get through it”.

But he hinted that public sector wages won’t go up in line with inflation, saying: “If wages continually chase the increase in prices then we risk a wage price spiral such as this country experienced in the 1970s.”

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