Right to Buy Scheme: Affordable Housing

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 25th April 2017.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Policing)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to page 78 of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report, entitled UK Poverty: Causes and Solutions, if he will make it his policy to replace all homes sold under right to buy with low cost rented properties ensuring that there is a local discretion over size of discount and eligibility for all types of right to buy.

Photo of Gavin Barwell Gavin Barwell Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Housing, Planning and London)

The 2012 reinvigorated Right to Buy scheme increased maximum discounts to realistic levels and, for the first time ever, introduced a requirement that for every additional sale, a new affordable home would be provided. There is a rolling 3 year deadline for local authorities to deliver additional affordable homes under the reinvigorated Right to Buy, and so far they have delivered within profile.

Under the terms of the voluntary Right to Buy agreement, housing associations have also committed to provide an additional home for each property sold on a one-for-one basis – increasing overall housing supply. Housing associations know their customers’ needs best and we envisage that new build would reflect the local market conditions.

Right to Buy discounts are set nationally, which provides an equal, easy to understand offer to tenants. The maximum discounts are higher in London as London is a unique market, where property prices are generally significantly above those in other areas, which makes it more difficult for tenants to take up their Right to Buy.

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