Home Ownership Hopes Fade For Officers

YOUNG police officers are becoming increasingly unlikely to buy their own home, which is a “constant concern” for officers in Hampshire who live in one of the most expensive areas in the country.

A new report into starter homes has warned that home ownership hopes are fading for young police officers.

The report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee looked into starter home initiatives and criticised the “deplorable cycle of policy invention, abandonment and reinvention” by the Government.

It said successive housing ministers had been “stringing expectant young people along for years”, and the committee’s Chair said police officers had been affected by this too.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said the report was not surprising.

She explained: “It’s a constant thing we get from people about not being able to afford their own home. It is concerning, because the starting pay is so low it’s difficult for them to qualify for a mortgage to get onto the housing market in Hampshire, and I presume in the other South East forces as well.”

Zoë said the recent pay freeze “definitely isn’t going to help”. She added: “That’s going to affect our younger-in-service officers the most. They need help to get onto the property ladder, because clearly their pay’s not going to be going up any time soon.”

There used to be police housing available nationwide, but this was sold off by forces during austerity. There is also a national lack of new hoke supply – every year, the UK needs to build 300,000 new homes to meet demand, but it is coming up short.

Zoë said Hampshire Police Federation had access to a financial advisor who was happy to give free advice to members, so people should approach their Rep if they want to discuss their home ownership options.

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