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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Right to Buy extension confirmed in Queen’s Speech

The Conservative Party’s manifesto pledge to extend the Right to Buy scheme was confirmed in yesterday’s Housing Bill. 

The Bill was part of the Queen’s Speech which outlined the new government’s legislative plans for the coming year. 

The Right to Buy Scheme – which allows social housing tenants to buy their home at a discount – will be extended to over 1.3 million housing association tenants. 

The Government has pledged that receipts from selling an owner’s current property will help housing associations to build replacement affordable homes on a one-for-one basis.

To fund the policy, local authorities will be required to dispose of high-value vacant council houses and any remaining cash will be invested in a new Brownfield Regeneration Fund to increase the supply of new housing.

Before the election, there was a mixed reaction to the Right to Buy scheme among the UK’s property professionals. 

In response to yesterday’s announcement, Stephen Johnson, Managing Director of Commercial Mortgages at Shawbrook Bank, says he sees the move to extend the Right to Buy scheme as part of a wider decline in the supply of social housing available to tenants.

“By encouraging tenants of Housing Associations to buy their homes, the government is increasing the reliance of remaining social tenants on availability within the private rental sector. Demand for the private rental sector is therefore the catalyst for the growth of the housing market moving forward,” he says. 

Jon White, UK Managing Director of the global construction consultancy Turner & Townsend, says that the ‘turbocharging’ of Right to Buy could dramatically boost levels of home ownership in Britain.

“How much it will do to solve the housing crisis is another matter,” he says. “Its success will hang on its ability to spur the construction of new homes.”

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, adds: “The Right to Buy extension sounds good on paper – but we’ve yet to see how this will translate in practice, and the reality is that authorities will have to sell off existing stock first before they can fund and deliver this new promised land of affordable properties.” 

  • Rob  Davies

    Oh, this again. I really thought they would let it die when it was received so badly in nearly all quarters, but I clearly underestimated their incompetency. It's a ludicrous policy that will do nothing to solve the housing shortage and the Tories know it. They know their rich mates will be able to hoover up a load more stock a few years down the line, as they did after the Thatcher sell off, and then we're simply back to a situation where people are having to pay sky high rents on houses they can never afford to buy.

    If we're going to have this Right to Buy, it's only fair that it's extended to the PRS, right? Bet quite a few people on here wouldn't be too happy with that. But it's only fair.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Why are they persisting with this? It's so stupid it's laughable. I haven't met one person who thinks this is a good idea - not one single person. I bet even Brandon Lewis thinks it's ridiculous.

    But no, the Tory bigwigs no best. And everyone else will have to fall in line and suffer.

    I mean, you wouldn't think we had a housing shortage, would you? No, the solution to this is to sell off our social housing stock! It beggars belief.

  • Fake Agent

    A mixed reaction? That's being very generous! From what I saw it received a wholly negative reaction, even from people who it might actually benefit. Housing association tenants feel uncomfortable that if they buy their property, where do the next lot of social housing tenants go?

    The one for one idea is also completely unworkable, particularly in London. The Tories should let this die, leave it for what it was - a shameless election bribe. The fact they think this is the best way to solve the housing shortage speaks volumes.

  • Kelly Evans

    As I've said before, why have people got such an issue with people owning their own homes? This will help people who couldn't otherwise afford it onto the property ladder - I thought that's what the socialists wanted!

    But no, it must all be some sort of evil Tory plan. The paranoia is ridiculous.

    They've said the housing stock will be replaced, so what's the issue? One for one, it's quite simple. It's a fantastic policy, just as Thatcher's original policy was. A property owning democracy, that's the dream. And a policy like RTB will push this closer to reality.

  • Jamie  Humm

    Agree with the general consensus here about RTB. Silly, short-term policy that doesn't even attempt to tackle the huge housing shortage we currently have. Only takes away even more existing stock.

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