The Conservative government is going to allow housing association tenants in England to buy their home with the expansion of the Right to Buy policy. This is going to be disastrous for a number of reasons.
- Housing associations are private organisations and it would harm their ability to provide new affordable homes.
- It would be funded by selling off council homes in expensive areas, meaning that whole swathes of cities will be drained of lower income families.
- It is a huge waste of money. The housing crisis is caused by a shortage of homes, not an inability of social tenants to buy. The £5.8bn the policy costs would be better spent building new houses instead of just giving it away.
- The government has managed to build only one replacement home for every 10 that have been sold through Right to Buy. This is no basis to trust that they will replace all the homes sold under this new phase.
- Right to Buy properties end up in the private rented sector where they are let for far higher rents - and often to people who are waiting for social housing. This inflates the housing benefit bill and any expansion will do so even further.
- The policy does nothing to support private renters who want to buy a house - or just rent a nice, affordable one.
Update, July 2016: the vote to leave the EU has thrown the government and public finances into disarray, and the Department for Communities and Local Government has yet to publish regulations to start implementing this policy. We will keep the pressure on until the policy is dropped.
Please oppose this lunacy and sign our petition:
We, the undersigned, call on Her Majesty's Government to stop the planned extension of the Right to Buy to housing associations, and to ensure that extra public money available for housing is spent on building new homes, not hand outs.