Right-to-Buy Under Consideration by PM
In a bid to improve home-ownership, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a return of the right-to-buy scheme for housing association tenants
Young people today have long struggled to get on the housing ladder, due to rising rents and spiralling house prices. So Boris Johnson is looking at the Thatcher era scheme, to give people in rented accommodation the opportunity to buy properties that they rent from housing associations at a reduced rate.
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The idea is, by all accounts, being looked at again by Number 10 officials in the policy unit. Reports suggest that up to 2.5 million households could be eligible to buy their homes at a discount of up to 70%. Some backbenchers are reportedly nervous of the idea, which looks to help ‘generation rent’ and prove the government is committed to its Conservative principles.
Housing experts have instead called for an increase in housebuilding and say the policy will see the sell-off of affordable homes during the current cost-of-living crisis.
Polly Neate, the Chief Executive of Shelter, criticised the ‘hare-brained idea’ as ‘the opposite of what the country needs’.
Ministers are also looking into whether to allow banks to take into account taxpayer money received by those who claim housing benefit when they apply for a mortgage. Ministers are looking into the idea.
Changing house building rules
The government is also said to be considering changing the rule that developers must build a certain amount of affordable homes, and instead would prefer to make them pay into a fund councils could use to fund their own projects, to help boost housing stocks.
The government backed down on housing reforms following a huge backlash from Tory MPs over changes to planning rules.
What is right-to-buy?
Right-to-buy became one of the legacy decisions of Thatcher’s era, allowing council tenants to purchase their properties at a discounted rate. Critics said the policy would only make the shortage of affordable housing in the country worse.
Nearly 34,000 households in England became homeless, more than 8,000 of them families with children, in the last three months of 2021, according to Shelter.
Labour’s shadow Communities Secretary, Lisa Nandy, said the plan was ‘desperate’, adding:
Millions of families in the private rented sector with low savings and facing sky high-costs and rising bills, need far more ambitious plans to help them buy their own home.
If you are looking to get on the housing ladder, we’re here to help. You can use our free mortgage calculator to see how much you can afford, or you can book a call with our advisors. Our advice is completely free and can help you take your first steps into home ownership.