Thursday, January 29, 2009

Right to rent and free insulation to help people make ends meet

Letter writer William A Jewell from Knowle makes an excellent point when he says that the Government should be doing more to help home-owners struggling to pay their mortgage through no fault of their own (‘Government should help hard-up homeowners’, Open Lines, January 28).

The 'right to rent' should be enshrined in law. Any home owner who ultimately cannot pay their mortgage and is threatened with repossession should have the right to sell, in whole or part, to the council. They should then be allowed to continue to live in the property and pay rent. This would avoid the social and economic disruption of repossession and in many cases the need for councils to find new homes for families.

Government should also ensure free insulation for every home that needs it, beginning with those most in need. Insulating every home properly cuts fuel bills in the average home by up to half. This would help everyone struggling to make ends meet due to the recession (and solve one of letter writer John Tanner’s problems with insulation, ‘When insulating your loft can be too expensive’, Open Lines, January 28). Free insulation would bring simultaneous environmental benefits. Carbon emissions from homes amount to approx a fifth of total UK emissions and a free insulation programme alone can cut these emissions by a quarter.

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