Section: Housing Finance

New report concludes home-owners get more government subsidy than social housing tenants or private renters

Posted 21.11.18
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH): Article link

Home-owners get a much bigger slice of government help than renters - whether they are social or private tenants - according to a new report published by the CIH.

Contrary to expectations, an exhaustive analysis of government spending, taxation and regulation of the housing market reaches the conclusion that home-owners are the most subsidised, followed by social housing tenants and then private landlords and renters.

The research shows that the government is directing about £8 billion annually into private housing over the five years to 2020/21, with over half going specifically to support home ownership and the remainder being more broadly aimed at the private market.

In contrast, direct funding for new social housing is less than £2 billion annually, although most of this is grant spending whereas much of the private market support is via loans or guarantees.

Tax reliefs deliver a much bigger benefit to home-owners than they do for private landlords. Net tax relief for owners was some £29 billion in 2016/17 (£10 billion paid in tax; £39 billion received in tax reliefs). In contrast private landlords paid net tax of at least £8 billion.

On the other hand, the benefit system aids tenants much more than home-owners, with about £15 billion annually going to social housing tenants and £8.5 billion to private renters.

Overall, the report - Dreams and reality? Government finance, taxation and the private housing market - concludes that home ownership is the most 'subsidised' tenure, followed by social housing and then the private rented sector.


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Reporting on November 2018

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