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A Home Individual Savings Account, An opportunity for the English underprivileged?

De Koning, Kees (2014): A Home Individual Savings Account, An opportunity for the English underprivileged?

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Abstract

In the U.K. public housing policy has sought to achieve (at least one of) three distinguished goals: to provide shelter and accommodation for all families, to encourage home ownership and to encourage construction as a tool of counter-cyclical macroeconomic policy.

Over the last decade, individual households in England and Wales, especially the young and the below-median income ones, have struggled to buy or even rent their homes. For the most needy, income support and housing benefits are being granted to enable them to pay rent.

More recently the U.K. government established a scheme to help first time buyers to get onto the property ladder.

No scheme exists however, which would help the underprivileged to save more when house prices and rents rise faster than average wages. Such a scheme could be called the Home Individual Savings Account or HISA. The scheme will help to nullify the gap between average house price movements and average wages. Who could be eligible for participating in the scheme and how it could work is set out in this paper.

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