Election 2015

Election 2015: Lib Dems pledge to help young to rent

Nick Clegg talks to young people Image copyright PA
Image caption Nick Clegg says his plan could mean young people would no longer have to rely on the "bank of mum and dad"

The Liberal Democrats are promising young people still living with their parents a loan to help pay for a deposit on a rented home of their own.

Party leader, Nick Clegg, said the Help to Rent policy would help what he called the "clipped-wing generation".

The plan would mean working people in England aged between 18 and 30 could use a low-interest loan to fund the deposit needed to rent a property.

Tenants would be able to borrow up to £1,500 or £2,000 if in London.

The deposit would have to be paid back within two years.

The Lib Dems believe up to two million people could benefit.

To qualify, tenants must be:

  • Aged between 18 and 30
  • In paid employment
  • Not seeking social housing

Mr Clegg said: "You've got this generation that is sometimes called 'the clipped wing generation', or 'the boomerang generation', of an increasingly large numbers of youngsters - I think the estimates are now about two million people in their 20s and 30s - who simply can't find the money needed for a deposit to rent a flat or home of their own

"It also has a big knock-on effect on what happens to the property market as far as families are concerned.

"It means that couples whose children have grown up are not downsizing as readily as they might because they have to keep large properties to maintain space for their kids.

"So we have a very simple idea which is in effect to extend a system of government loans."

He added that it was "simply unfair" that thousands of hard-working young people still have to live in the same bedroom they lived in when children.

"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. "

Senior Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes said the policy would not cost much.

The government would set aside £50m as a contingency against any tenants who failed to repay their deposit, he said. Beyond that, the pay-outs would not count as public expenditure because the money gets paid back.

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