View more on these topics

Half of UK&#39s &#39poor&#39 adults own homes

As many as half the adults defined as &#39poor&#39 in Britain are either buying their homes with a mortgage or own their properties outright, a study for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reveals.

Another 41% of poor adults live in social housing and 9% in the private rented sector.

The foundation says the findings challenge the existing policy of state support for low-income households, where 92% of help with housing costs goes to tenants and only 8% to owners.

The research, by Professor Roger Burrows of the University of York, finds that mortgage holders were more likely to live in poverty if they were young, lone parents or from a ethnic minority group.

Poverty was also more common among housebuyers in the Midlands and Wales than other regions.

Comparing low-income homeowners with poor people living in other tenures, the study found that nearly half all homeowners who were poor were couples with dependent children, compared with 26% of tenants.

The report calls for a change in traditional thinking about poverty, especially the way that housing tenure is assumed to be a measure of relative advantage or deprivation. It also recommends reassessment of housing benefit and other existing state help with housing costs.

Burrows says: “It is hard to justify the crude discrimination whereby 50% of poor adults live in owner-occupied homes, yet receive only 8% of state assistance with housing costs.

“We must also ask whether the area based interventions designed to tackle social exclusion that are currently targeted on social housing estates are the best way of combating poverty. Homeowners who are poor tend not to be concentrated in particular estates, with the result that current initiatives mostly fail to reach them.”

Recommended

N4 registration plans may be scrapped

The MCCB may be forced to scrap plans for streamlined broker registration in the run-up to N4, despite the possibility of some 5,000 qualifying as advisers after sitting exams in December.Some 3,394 passed CeMAP in the month leading to the December 31 qualification deadline. Results for another 3,480 advisers who sat MAQ exams are still […]

ABI advises homeowners on frozen pipes

With much of the country facing a sudden spell of freezing temperatures, the Association of British Insurers is advising homeowners on how to avoid flooding from burst pipes and making an avoidable insurance claim. It tells occupiers to turn off the water if pipes or tanks freeze, and using a hairdryer or hot water bottle […]

Broker claims FSA regulation could increase misbuying

Brokers claim that mortgage regulation by the FSA could actually increase the risk of misbuying in the industry. Mortgage Talk identifies proposals for &#39non-advised sales using filtering questions&#39 as a particular worry, which could easily be interpreted as offering a recommendation to use a particular type of product. Peter Birch, a director of Mortgage Talk, […]

HBOS appoints new Bank of Scotland governor

HBOS has appointed George Mitchell as governor of the Bank of Scotland and Sir Ron Garrick as deputy chairman of HBOS plc. The appointments follow the retirement of Sir Peter Burt, deputy chairman of HBOS and governor of Bank of Scotland, and take effect immediately. George Mitchell is chief executive of Bank of Scotland corporate […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up