Right to buy extended to housing associations

Around 2.5 million housing association tenants in England are to be given the right to buy their homes at a discounted price, with government pledging to build a new social home for every one sold.

Currently, English council housing tenants can purchase their home for up to 70 per cent off the market value. Right to Buy was abolished in Wales in 2019.

The LGA has warned that measures to support home ownership should not lead to a reduction in the overall number of affordable social rented homes.

Cllr David Renard, the LGA’s Housing Spokesperson, said: “We need to be urgently increasing, not reducing, the supply of affordable social homes. “With more than 1.1 million households currently on social housing waiting lists, any loss of social rented housing would risk pushing more families into the private rented sector, as well as driving up housing benefit spending and rents, and exacerbating our homelessness crisis at a time of an escalating cost-of-living crisis.

“Any houses sold must be replaced quickly, in the same local authority area and on a like-for-like basis.

“Equally, the cost of discounts must not be funded from the sale of council housing stock, nor be met from existing government funding commitments for delivery of additional affordable homes.

“The Right to Buy scheme for council tenants also needs urgent reform, and councils need to be able to keep 100 per cent of receipts and set discounts locally.

“The number of new council homes being built is not able to keep pace with those sold under Right to Buy, and the discounts available, along with the funds that have to be returned to Treasury, are leaving councils with less and less resources to catch up.”

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