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Tories to bring back right to buy for housing association tenants


The Conservatives are planning to revive Margaret Thatcher’s controversial right-to-buy scheme if voted into power next month

The party’s manifesto, which is set to be published later this morning, will reveal plans allowing 1.3 million housing association tenants to buy their homes – a resurrection of Thatcher’s 1979 policy for council housing tenants.

It is believed the discount for those buying their properties will be capped at just over £102,700 in London and £77,000 for the rest of England.

Council tenants who have been in their house for more than five years already have the right to apply to purchase their home with a 35 per cent discount but this doesn’t extend to those living in housing association properties.

The policy would be paid for by forcing councils to sell off their most valuable properties from their remaining housing stock, which the party believes would raise around £4.5 billion a year.

Once the homes have been sold, the councils will be required to replace them with affordable stock on a one-to-one basis.

But the move has come under fire from critics, with many commentators taking to Twitter to voice their concerns.

The party also has plans for a Brownfield Regeneration Fund to unlock brownfield land and deliver 400,000 homes over the next parliament.  


Readers' comments (2)

  • Ben Derbyshire

    The good news is that the Housing Crisis has reached the headline of election manifestos for all the main parties. The bad news is that the politics result in an investment to buy votes, not solve the problem.
    The Tories' proposed right to buy for housing association tenants is yet another demand side initiative that will fuel private debt and fail to add to the housing stock just as the right to buy local authority homes has not lived up to the promised re-investment in new ones. The arithmetic just does not stack up.
    Worse than that, the danger is that the initiative will seriously undermine the ability of Housing Associations to borrow and develop new stock as institutional investors take fright at the diminution of the asset.
    Surely we can do better than this? At The Housing Forum, we would like to see a housing minister at the cabinet table backed up with a decently funded (not emasculated) department. Then we might begin to see a properly joined up plan for increasing the supply and improving the affordability of housing.
    At the London Society tonight, we debate under the chairmanship of the BBC's Mark Easton under the title #CantPayWontStay and I put the economic argument for liberating housing supply.
    Ben Derbyshire
    Managing Partner, HTA Design LLP
    Chair, The Housing Forum

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  • Chris Roche

    Right to Buy is Wrong.
    The solution to an affordable housing crisis is clearly not to be found in selling off more affordable homes, it is in building new and better homes, more suited to the needs of 21st Century lives.
    Chris Roche
    11.04 Architects

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