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Tories plan to extend Right to Buy

Fri 17th April 2015, 9:55 am

In the run up to the election, the Conservative Party's manifesto sets out plans to force local authorities to sell their most expensive properties to fund the extension of Right to Buy to housing associations.

The Conservatives claim that selling these homes would raise up to £4.5 billion annually – funds which will be used to help tenants of housing associations purchase the home in which they live.

Under the legislation, councils would sell vacant properties which are among the 33% most expensive they own.

The Tory mainfesto suggests around 210,000 homes could fall within this category, and that 15,000 expensive homes become vacant every year.

Money raised would also be used for the creation of a 'Brownfield Fund', to further unlock new homes on brownfield sites.

Speaking exclusively to Sitematch, Ealing Council's executive director for regeneration and housing Pat Hayes, said: "Right to Buy discount has always been a policy with perhaps unintended disbenefits, which has conferred substantial benefits from the public purse on a relatively small number of people and not improved housing supply. Over 50% of former Right to Buy properties in Ealing are now owned by private landlords while Right to Buy discount stymies the construction of new publically owned housing.

"If one wanted to increase home ownership without negative impacts, one would provide discounted mortgage finance to help councils and housing association tenants buy in the private market and would abolish Right to Buy and encourage councils to build homes for rent at a variety of price points, up to full market price as an alternative to purchase."

Pat Hayes will be speaking at a workshop about local authorities setting up housing companies. View more information about the workshop and how to attend.

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