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Housing associations back Right to Buy extension

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Housing associations have overwhelmingly voted for a proposal that could see them voluntarily introduce the Right to Buy for their tenants

The government is this month due to publish legislation which would force them to sell homes at discounts of up to £100,000.

But following a vote, the National Housing Federation is set to put a proposal to ministers that would see them fully compensated for the discounts, and able to offer cash alternatives in areas of housing shortages.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: ‘Last week, we asked our members whether they wanted us to put a proposal to the Government on a voluntary Right to Buy. The sector has responded with a resounding ‘yes’. A clear majority of our members - covering 93 per cent of all housing association rented homes - have told us that they want us to go ahead and make an offer to Government.’

Orr said that if the government accepted the deal it would guarantee the independence of the housing association sector.

However, the proposal, which would see councils forced to sell off their highest value housing stock, was attacked by Labour London Assembly housing spokesman, Tom Copley AM.

He said: ‘With the capital’s housing crisis growing ever deeper, the focus should be entirely on building the new homes Londoners need.

‘Instead we’re left with an agreement from the National Housing Federation which is riddled with unfairness.

This will decimate London’s council housing stock

‘Not only will this settlement make it more difficult to build social housing in London, but it will decimate London’s council housing stock, leaving thousands of low-income families unable to access the security of social housing.’

The Department for Communities and Local Government said that it would now consider the housing associations’ proposals.

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