Councils respond to latest Right to buy figures

// HA News

Thousands of households across the country are signing up their interest for the Right to Buy, according to latest government figures.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark says this shows the huge interest in the initiative, which allows families in social housing the Right to Buy their property with more than 5,000 coming forward in the first month.

The Government is delivering on its commitment to extend the Right to Buy to 1.3 million housing association tenants, giving them the same home ownership opportunities as council tenants, with every property sold replaced with an additional new affordable home.

Meanwhile, a new radio advertising campaign will be launched with TV property expert, Phil Spencer, setting out how working people can open the door to home ownership through a range of government home-buying schemes.

Now the Department for Communities and Local Government has revealed that 5,200 housing association tenants have registered their interest in the Right to Buy online. It means nearly 170 people are signing up every day.

Responding to figures showing the number of Right to Buy sales have doubled in the past two years, Cllr Peter Box, Housing spokesman for the Local Government Association, said “These figures make it more important than ever for councils to be given the funding and powers to replace any homes sold under Right to Buy quickly and on a one-for-one basis. The current scheme only allows councils to replace half or fewer of the homes they have sold. Councils need to be able to retain 100 per cent of receipts from sales while Right to Buy discounts should be set locally so they reflect the cost of houses in the area.”

“Our projections show extending the Right to Buy scheme to housing association tenants will cost £6 billion over the next four years, as almost 100,000 households take up the offer. This must not be funded by forcing councils to sell off their social housing as this would lower the capacity of councils to build more homes and tackle waiting lists which in turn would drive up rents and the housing benefit bill.”

“There are millions of people on council waiting lists and local authorities want to get on with the job of building the new homes that people in their areas desperately need. It is important that receipts from the sale of high value homes are reinvested into local replacement homes and we’re working with government to ensure its housing and planning reforms support council efforts to build more homes.”

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