Right to buy 'bribe' to hit housing stock

mark at tlio.org.uk mark at tlio.org.uk
Fri Apr 6 10:33:09 BST 2012

Right to buy 'bribe' to hit housing stock
Tuesday 03 April 2012
by Louise Nousratpour
Morning Star

Ref: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/117421

David Cameron's push to resurrect the discredited right-to-buy scheme 
for council homes was branded an electoral bribe that will spell 
disaster for affordable housing stocks by critics on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister claimed the new policy, which came into force on 
Tuesday, will restore "a vital rung on the property ladder."

Sales under the right-to-buy scheme introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 
the 1980s have tailed off significantly after discounts were cut in 
the 1990s, with only 3,690 completed in 2010/11.

To revive the scheme the Tory-led government is offering those who 
have lived in their house for five years a 35 per cent discount, with 
an extra 1 per cent for each additional year up to a maximum of 

Tenants in flats will get 50 per cent off after five years, with 2 per 
cent added yearly.

The resurrected scheme could see an extra two million council homes 
and 500,000 housing association homes sold off.

Ministers insist there will be no reduction in social housing as the 
money raised from sales will go towards building more, but town hall 
chiefs and housing experts aren't convinced.

"Massively increasing the maximum discount will enable tenants to buy 
homes more cheaply, but also cut the receipts available to fund 
replacements," said Matthew Warburton of the Association of Retained 
Council Housing, which represents more than 60 councils that own and 
managing their housing.

He said that at best the scheme "will only slow the loss of council 
homes, not reverse it."

And London's Surveyors director Simon White blasted Mr Cameron's 
"electoral bribe" saying: "This will inevitably lead to yet more 
impoverished families having to rent in the ludicrously expensive 
private sector because every council house that's bought reduces the 
social housing stock by one."

Mr White, who said he had revised his support for the right-to-buy 
scheme since the 1980s, added that Mr Cameron had "no right" to sell 
off council homes without consulting the public who own them.

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