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Stephen Morgan: Labour’s ‘Freedom to Buy’ scheme will get over 80,000 young people onto the housing ladder

Image from Stephen Morgan

Portsmouth candidate for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan has said Labour’s housing plans would support over 80,000 young people to get on the housing ladder, over the next five years.

The next Labour government will launch a new Freedom to Buy scheme to get more young people onto the housing ladder.

Stephen Morgan has condemned the Conservative record on housebuilding, accusing the government of ‘taking away the aspiration of homeowning for a whole generation.’

Labour’s new, permanent, Freedom to Buy Scheme for first-time buyers will help families who struggle to save for a large deposit and can’t rely on cash gifts from relatives, with a permanent mortgage guarantee scheme to help working people get a mortgage and buy a home.

Half of young first-time buyers now receive financial support from family to buy their home, with an average gift of £25k. Children of homeowners are now twice as likely to own their own homes in comparison to children of renters.

Saving for a deposit is one of the biggest hurdles for working people getting on the ladder, with many paying more in rent than they would for a mortgage. Tory planning changes also mean the average deposit is set to soar by nearly £9k by 2030.

Labour has pledged to reform planning to get young people out of their parents’ house and onto the housing ladder. This comes as analysis shows the most common living situation for young people is back at home and census data has revealed for the first time that the majority of young adults, aged 20-24, now live at home with parents.

The Labour Party will argue that the best way to give young people the freedom to move out of their childhood bedroom is by building more homes, outlining a comprehensive plan to build 1.5 million homes over the next Parliament.

The Tories are currently planning to axe the scheme in June 2025. This would leave 65,000 young people denied the opportunity to own their own home, in comparison to if Labour were to continue the scheme permanently.

The average value of a home purchased using the scheme is £202,000, around the value of the flat Rishi Sunak bought with a six-figure loan from his parents.

The Labour Party has pledged to get working people on the housing ladder with:

  • Planning reform to build 1.5 million homes: in the long-term best way to help young people is to build more homes. We will reintroduce housing targets, build on disused grey belt land, fast track permissions on brownfield and build the next generation of new towns.
  • A Freedom to Buy Scheme: for first-time buyers to unlock people from the struggle to save for a large deposit, with a permanent mortgage guarantee scheme to help working people get a mortgage and buy a home.
  • First dibs: work with developers to give local people ‘first dibs’ on new developments, ending the farce of entire developments sold off to international investors before local people get a look in.
  • Tax foreign buyers to fund planning officers: tax foreign buyers pricing out young people to fund new planning officers to approve homes next generation needs.
  • Reform compulsory purchase rules to get homes built: reform compulsory purchase rules to stop speculators frustrating housebuilding and squeezing value from infrastructure and affordable housing.  Where necessary we will not hesitate to use reformed compulsory purchase orders to support housebuilding and infrastructure delivery.

Under the Tories, planning permissions for new homes have plummeted to record lows, whilst housebuilding is set to crater. Councils are already using Tory planning changes to overturn applications for new homes they had originally approved, and Portsmouth’s Lib Dem run council has one of the worst run planning departments in the country according to the independent local government watchdog.

Labour has also pledged to keep mortgage rates as low as possible with their tough fiscal rules and fiscal lock.

Commenting, Labour candidate for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan said: 

“After 14 years of Tory government, far too few people in Portsmouth have the means to own their home with a generation facing being renters for life.

“Labour will get Britain building again and will help first-time buyers in Portsmouth onto the ladder with a new Freedom to Buy scheme for those without a big deposit, and by giving them first dibs on new developments.

“The choice at this election is more chaos and the same with the Tories, or hope and change with Labour, but that change will only come if we vote for it.”

Angela Rayner, Labour Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said:

“The Tories have crashed housebuilding, putting the dream of a safe, secure and affordable home further out of reach. Rishi Sunak is too weak to deliver the change our country needs.

“Labour’s new Freedom to Buy scheme will deliver for working people across the country. We will deliver more action on housing in the first year of a Labour Government than this crumbling Conservative government has managed in over a decade.

“Labour’s plan would get Britain building again with a new scheme to help young people get a mortgage and with a housing recovery plan, creating a generation of new towns and unlocking economic growth across Britain.

“Labour is the party of homeownership, and the only Party serious about building the homes Britain needs. We will deliver the change needed and end the Tory chaos.”