Search

Help to Buy has been a total flop in tackling housing crisis, say Camden and Haringey politicians

07:00 08 August 2014

Help to Buy has only helped a handful of people. Picture: Getty/Matt Cardy

Help to Buy has only helped a handful of people. Picture: Getty/Matt Cardy

2008 Getty Images

The government’s “silver bullet cure” for the housing crisis has been derided as “woefully ill-equipped” after it was revealed only a handful of people in Camden, Haringey and Westminster had taken it up.

Help to Buy was launched with much fanfare last year, with Prime Minister David Cameron boasting that the scheme would help people “realise the dream of home ownership”.

However, just one person in Camden had used the mortgage guarantee scheme, with two using it in Westminster. No one used any of the help available to buy a new-build property in either borough.

In Haringey, more people have taken up the scheme in line with other outer London boroughs. In total, 21 people used Help to Buy for a new-build home, and eight used the mortgage guarantee scheme for old properties. How many of these were bought in the west of the borough is unknown.

Help to Buy allows people to get a mortgage with as little as a five per cent deposit, with the government lending the remaining 15 per cent on properties up to £600,000.

However, the cost of the average home in these boroughs is far higher, according to property website RightMove.

Camden Council leader, Labour’s Sarah Hayward, revealed in a column for the Guardian this week that the problem is “now so acute that... even senior people in multinationals raise with me on a regular basis the issue of housing for their staff”.

Tulip Siddiq, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, said the Right to Buy figures are proof the government’s flagship scheme is “woefully ill-equipped to tackle the housing crisis in Camden”.

The problem, Ms Siddiq and her Labour colleagues argue, is a basic lack of affordable housing. “Affordable” rents in Camden, Cllr Hayward told the Guardian, require an income of £50,000 – far higher than the borough’s average earnings of £33,000.

Ms Siddiq added: “We need to refocus our efforts on the building of thousands of new, genuinely affordable properties to ensure that everyone has a chance to realise their dream of home ownership.”

In Haringey – where the average home price in June was £656,512 – Catherine West, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green, said Help to Buy was not only “misguided” but had actually made the market more difficult by creating “an unsustainable house price bubble”.

The former Islington Council leader said: “Since 2010, the number of new homes has plummeted and the Tory mayor has severely weakened guidelines to build affordable housing in London. The majority of new-builds are sold abroad to overseas investors. This does not help first-time buyers or anyone else looking for a home.”

However, housing minister Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, defended Help to Buy, pointing out it was helping boost house-building nationally, as well as homeowners locally.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Plans to stack phone masts on top of a block of flats in Belsize Park have been making waves with angry residents

17:38

A popular cafe in Waterlow Park is being dismantled prompting an outpouring of grief from customers who lined up to pay tribute to its charismatic owner

Alexandra Park and Palace will decide tonight whether to apply for an events licence for the park, prompting fears over noise pollution and public access

15:39

Actor and active animal welfare campaigner Peter Egan will compere a sparkling fundraising evening in aid of Mayhew International at Burgh House

Best-selling author Kathy Lette has slammed Royal Mail after private post for her and her barrister husband Geoffrey Robertson was found dumped in a street in West Hampstead.

12:57

Supporters of Burgh House gathered for an afternoon tea to raise funds for the upkeep of the Grade I-listed building.

The London Fire Brigade hosed down the car just outside a disabled parking bay in a residential street

Yesterday, 17:25

Anger over the proposed cycle-superhighway CS-11 has fuelled calls for Hampstead to become an independent parish council, granting the area planning powers separate from Camden.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now