Lord Bird said: “It is good to see that Liz Truss is building on the work we did in parliament with the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill of 2017.
“Being able to use your rental payments record for building your creditworthiness is a hope that has taken a long time to fill. Piggybacking off our creditworthiness bill is the best form of compliment.”
Now Truss plans to change the way mortgages are assessed, claiming that government statistics show half of renters could afford a mortgage but only 6 per cent can access a typical first-time buyer mortgage.
The foreign secretary also insists the public back the idea, citing a YouGov poll from February that found three-quarters of Brits think lenders should accept rent payments as proof buyers can afford a mortgage.
“People are getting older and older before they get their foot on the property ladder. It’s a problem not just for the Conservative party, but for the future of the country,” said Truss.
“As prime minister I would break down barriers and unlock the opportunity of homeownership for millions of hard-working renters across the nation.”
Truss also doubled down on her pledge to scrap government housing targets after previously describing them as “Stalinist”.
Boris Johnson included a target of building 300,000 new homes by the mid-2020s in the 2019 Conservative manifesto.
Instead, Truss said she would “rip up the red tape holding back house building” by putting the task of building homes in the hands of local councillors.
Truss’ proposed planning reforms include ditching measures like nutrient neutrality to speed up a planning system she describes as “too bureaucratic, too slow and too complex”. Nutrient neutrality rules require planning applications to determine the impact of development on rivers, estuaries and wetlands when building properties.
Truss also promised to encourage housebuilding on brownfield sites among the reforms.
“I will also rip up red tape that’s holding back house building and give more power to local communities,” said Truss.
“As a former councillor I remember those painful hours sitting through planning committees. I’ll put power back in local councillors’ hands who know far better than Whitehall what their communities want.”
Urgent action is needed to prevent even more people being pushed into homelessness. A secure home is the first step in addressing the cruel cycle of poverty to ensure people can fulfil their potential. Join us to keep people in their homes.