Right to Buy reforms ‘to increase new homes’

The Government has set out a series of reforms to the Right to Buy (RTB) scheme for tenants wishing to buy their council houses, after years of campaigning by the LGA. 

The reforms will give councils more freedom on how they spend the money raised from council house sales through RTB, and help them build the homes needed in their communities, according to ministers.

Following a consultation, the Government has said it will extend the time limit on using RTB receipts to build replacement homes, from three to five years.

It is increasing the percentage cost of a new home that councils can fund using receipts, from 30 to 40 per cent, making it easier to build replacement homes. 

Councils will also be able to spend RTB receipts on building homes for shared ownership, affordable and social rents, and on First Homes (the Government’s scheme for discounted homes for first-time buyers).

In addition, the Government announced it will be capping the use of RTB receipts for buying existing homes from April 2022, with the aim of increasing new housing supply. 

Cllr James Jamieson, LGA Chairman, said: “The LGA has long called for reform of Right to Buy and we are pleased government has engaged with us and acted on councils’ concerns. 

“Extending the time limit for spending RTB receipts and increasing the proportion of a new home that councils can fund using receipts will boost councils’ ability to build desperately needed affordable housing for local communities.

“We now look forward to working with government to implement these reforms, and it is good that it will work through any specific local challenges some councils may face as a result of the acquisitions cap.”

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