Shaun Bailey has been branded "completely out of touch" (Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
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The Tories’ London mayoral candidate has suggested homeless could people save up £5,000 for a deposit to buy a house.
Shaun Bailey plans to use some of the capital’s affordable housing budget to pay for shared-ownership homes for sale.
And he has been branded “completely out of touch” over the remarks.
Asked by Inside Housing what that would do for the city’s 62,000 homeless households, Mr Bailey suggested some of them could save up for a deposit.
Asked if he thought a £5,000 deposit would prevent people living in temporary housing getting a mortgage, Mr Bailey said: “I don’t think £5,000 will. The mortgage application thing might be a bit tougher.”
Asked again if he thought people living in bed and breakfast accommodation could afford a £5,000 deposit, he said: “They could save for it, yeah.”
"They could save for it, yeah"
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A London Labour source said: “The Tory candidate for Mayor of London has the wrong values for London and is completely out of touch with the lives of Londoners.
“His belief that homeless families can afford a £5,000 deposit to buy a home and his unacceptable views on people living in council housing show he is simply the wrong choice to be our Mayor.”
Asked about the claim for a third time, Mr Bailey clarified: “Not all of them, but some people could. A full proportion of people could.”
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He then admitted that when he was “sofa surfing” for years when he was younger, he could not have afforded a £5,000 deposit for a house.
“You’re right,” he said. “I definitely couldn’t have come up with £5,000, but those people I’m not expecting to or asking to. We’ll provide social housing for them.
According to Inside Housing, Mr Bailey has promised to deliver 100,000 affordable houses with his £4bn budget – but a "large proportion" will be for sale as shared ownership properties.
London has 62,670 households living in temporary accommodation according to the most recent figures – including 44,190 with children.