‘Leave pensioners alone’ Vine guest slams calls for OAPs to downsize to help young buyers

Dr Shola says ‘leave pensioners alone’ in housing debate

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Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu has erupted at suggestions of pension-age Brits downsizing their homes to open up more offers for first-time buyers. The Jeremy Vine panellist erupted into calls of “leave pensioners alone” and to let them enjoy their own homes. The backlash came after Housing Minister Chris Pincher encouraged older people to downsize to free up space for first-time buyers who want to start families.


Broadcaster Jeremy Vine questioned her panel about the proposal, saying: “One thing to do is to say if you’ve got spare bedrooms you got to open them up to students. 

Dr Shola said: “You’ve got to, heck no.

If people don’t want to have lodgers at all, then they shouldn’t. 

That’s their home. They’ve worked hard for it.

READ MORE: Peston debate descends into chaos as MPs lock horns on Paterson ‘Just partisan nonsense!’  

The host interjected: “We worked hard for our house.

My parents bought their first house in 1964 for 10,000 pounds.

Dr Shola said: “And they worked hard, and I don’t want anybody to tell them that they have to leave or to share their homes.

“That’s not what they wanna do.


“Leave pensioners alone and deal with the real issue of helping first-time buyers to own their homes.”

He said four in ten homes were too big for their occupiers, promising to introduce plans to incentivise developers to build more properties for pensioners. 

However, experts believe that there are 3 million pensioners who cannot downsize because of a lack of suitable housing.

Addressing the Commons on Wednesday, Mr Pincher said: “The challenge is that in the early 1990s, something like 31 percent of properties were under-occupied.

“They were too big for the numbers of people rattling around inside them.

“And now that percentage is 38 percent. So it’s a very significant number of properties where we see under-occupation.”

The Conservative MP continued: ‘So I think there is an opportunity to encourage downsizing, encourage the growth of the later living sector in order to free up homes in the middle of the market, those two, three-bedroom semis, so that those properties can be moved into.

‘If you open up a three-bedroom semi for occupation, two or three steps back in the chain, you’re very likely to open up a first-time buyer property.’

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