Government urged to reconsider Right to Buy scheme
On the back of yesterday's announcement that a pilot for the government's Right to Buy scheme has rolled out to five housing associations, Stephen Smith, Director of Legal & General Housing Partnerships, has called the extension of the policy 'unfortunate', claiming that the scheme will reduce the availability of affordable homes.
The first housing association tenants can now apply for the Right to Buy scheme as part of the pilot, ahead of a national rollout later this year.
It follows a voluntary agreement between the government and the National Housing Federation to extend the Right to Buy to 1.3 million housing association tenants.
The government says that under the agreement, every home sold will be replaced nationally with a new affordable home.
However Stephen says that "it will ultimately erode housing associations’ ability to build homes".
He added: "This will reduce the number of affordable properties available in the UK when we need a greater supply of housing, not less. Forcing the sale of homes at a reduced market value will ultimately disrupt a well functioning sector, making it harder for housing associations to allocate resources to housebuilding and more difficult for investors to lend to them.
We hope that the Government reconsiders this decision before fully implementing it, and instead look to other ways in which to produce affordable housing by focusing on the root cause of the housing crisis and tackling supply side issues.”