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Government calls its HS2 compensation package ‘generous’ – we think it’s stingy

The HomeOwners Alliance says that the Government’s current offer of a maximum of 10% of the property value, with payments capped at £47,000 does not seem fair.

January 30, 2013

The Government is to offer homeowners affected by HS2 up to 10% of the value of their home as compensation if they are forced to sell. The offer comes with numerous restrictions on who can claim it, and there is an upper limit of £47,000. It is also only triggered once parliament approves HS2. The thousands of people whose houses have been made unsaleable just by the announcement of the government’s plans currently get nothing (unless they can prove exceptional hardship).

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said in a letter to the Transport Secretary: “The UK Government’s meanness on compulsory purchase compensation is not just an insult to thousands of homeowners, but it is also ultimately self-defeating. By failing to recognise the real cost of being forced to move home, it ensures that homeowners along the HS2 route will feel they have no option but to do everything they can to block the new train line.”

In the US, the Government forcibly taking someone’s home is seen as the most fundamental violation by the state of an individual’s rights, and the non-stop subject of emotional national debate. In France, the government takes a practical view and offers such generous compensation that people are glad to move. The Government is more likely to realise its plans if it does what the French do, and just buy off the opposition of those most directly affected. And that means compensation of at least 25%.”

The government is currently consulting on these compensation arrangements, with a closing date of 31st January.  Click here to read our letter to the Minister.

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When quoting this Press Release please link to the HOA website athttp://hoa.org.uk/
For media enquiries contact Paula Higgins on 020 3397 3292, or 07947 240 293,paula@hoa.org.uk or Martin Shankleman on 07747896056, martin@hoa.org.uk,

About the HomeOwners Alliance

The HomeOwners Alliance champions the interests of Britain’s homeowners and aspiring homeowners, and provides services they can trust. We are a membership organisation, acting as the voice of the homeowner in the media, lobbying for the interests of homeowners and aspiring homeowners in government, and campaigning against bad practices in industry.

HomeOwners Alliance Report, Death of a Dream – The Crisis of Homeownership, published on 16th November 2012, found that the dream of homeownership is dying in Britain, and that the consequences are profound and long lasting: poverty among pensioner and children will rise, social inequality worsen, with more and more people face life in insecure rented accommodation.

We will directly engage with government and the media by conducting independent research and publishing reports that promote and champion the interests of homeowners. Former Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, called the HomeOwners Alliance “good news for homeowners and homeownership”.

At hoa.org.uk, we provide independent advice for the key moments in owning a home, supported by legal and industry experts.

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