The Conservative candidate for mayor of London has sparked controversy after suggesting that homeless people in the capital would be able to save on a deposit of 5,000 to buy a share in a newly built affordable home.
Shaun Bailey has promised to distribute 100,000 affordable homes with his budget of 4 billion flats if he wins the election in April, many of them jointly owned, of which buyers will be able to buy a share for less than 100,000.
Asked in an interview with Inside Housing how this policy would benefit 62,670 families currently in temporary housing in the capitals, Bailey said it would encourage them to apply for joint ownership properties.
Asked how these families would produce a deposit of 5,000 and secure a mortgage, he said: I do not think 5,000 will [be a problem]. The thing about applying for a mortgage can be a little tougher they can save for it, yes.
Pressed by the interviewer if he was suggesting a homeless family in bed and breakfast accommodation could afford a deposit, Bailey replied: Not everyone, but some people can. A whole lot of people can.
He added: I know about that situation, I made the sofa for years. You’re right, I definitely couldn’t have come up with 5,000, but I don’t expect or am looking for those people. Provide good social housing for them.
Bailey, 49, said his goal was to build 100,000 affordable homes out of all the joint-ownership in the capital that makes up the largest proportion. This would help Londoners reach a stake in the city and serve those whose incomes are too high to qualify for social housing but still cannot afford to buy in the city.
Joint ownership includes residents taking out a 20% to 75% mortgage on a remodeled home, often developed by housing associations, and renting out the remainder.
Although seen as a way to give first-time buyers a step up the property ladder, there are drawbacks, including annual service fees.
Baileys’ comments drew widespread confusion on Twitter. Liberal Democrat councilor and London mayoral candidate Luisa Porritt said: Oh darling, candidate Tory is back in it. This time he suggests homeless families save for a deposit. How far from touch can he get?
Lambeth Labor Advisor Ed Davie cicerone: Familiarly, people living in poverty usually have at least 5,000 lying around amazing that it did not occur to them to simply buy a property in London, which are well known for being really cheap. Thank God the elderly Tories are here to give this good advice.
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