UK Lib Dems set out plans for a Help to Rent scheme for young people

Taylor Scott International News

The Liberal Democrats, one of the main political parties in the UK, have announced plans for a new Help to Rent scheme to support young workers move out of their family home and into a rented property. The party, which was part of the coalition government, said it would introduce the scheme if it is again part of the new government after the general election next month. It pointed out that research shows that around two million young working adults still live with their parents despite being in paid work because they can’t afford to get a home of their own. Rising rental costs mean that many young workers can't afford the money needed for a tenancy deposit of the one to two month's rent expected up front unless they have financial help from their parents or friends. Under the Help to Rent scheme, young working people in England would be able to borrow up to £1,500 or £2,000 in London from the government to go towards their tenancy deposit. To be eligible, tenants would need to be between 18 and 30 years old, in paid employment and not be home owners or seeking social housing tenancy. Loans could be paid over one or two years and once paid off, could be used for future rental properties. The knock-on effect of having young working adults in the family can also lead to parents having to upsize or delay the downsizing of family homes to accommodate older children, thereby reducing the availability of family homes. ‘Increasingly we see young people stuck in the family home as they can't afford the upfront costs of a deposit to rent a property despite having a paid job. It's simply unfair that thousands of hard working young people still have to live in the same bedroom they lived in when children,’ said Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg. ‘When you get your own job, you want to stand on your own two feet, have your own space, and not have to rely on the bank of mum and dad. Our Help to Rent scheme removes this barrier to young people's independence, providing access to up to £2,000 towards their tenancy deposit so they can fly the nest and rent their own space,’ he added. Ian Fletcher, director of policy of the British Property Federation, pointed out that young renters often do not have a credit history and therefore struggle to raise a deposit. ‘This welcome policy will help more people into their first homes and stop them having to raise funds through pay-day lenders and other risky means,’ he said. ‘This announcement builds on the excellent work of the Confederation of British Industry and housing charity Shelter, who have encouraged employers to voluntarily offer loans for tenancy deposits, much like loans already offered for travel season tickets,’ he explained. ‘Schemes such as these are also made possible by the vast majority of legitimate landlords and agents, who… Continue reading →

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