Our view on extending Right to Buy

14 April 2015

We're in the midst of a housing crisis caused by an undersupply of new homes where too many people and families are unable to afford a decent affordable home. So whilst we fully support the aspiration of homeownership, an extension of the Right to Buy scheme to housing associations will do nothing to end the country’s housing crisis and only helps those people who are already living in decent affordable homes to move into owner occupation.

The Conservative’s Right to Buy manifesto pledge is fundamentally unfair as apart from not resulting in an overall increase in the number of homes in the country, it does nothing to help the millions of people living in private rented homes. Compared to people living in social housing, people living in the private rented sector far too often have less secure tenancies, receive a poorer service from their landlord and pay higher rents.

The policy also won’t help the three million adults living with their parents because they can’t afford to rent or buy. It is a hugely expensive policy that seems to be motivated by politics rather than by sound economic and social sense. It’s no wonder then that Right to Buy doesn’t have the support of the majority of the public, with 60% of people feeling that it’s unfair.

What is needed is the political will to properly address the country’s housing crisis and build the homes Britain needs to meet the needs of our people. What we’ve got instead is an eye catching proposal to tinker with the housing system by helping some people move from one tenure to another.

If the Government was serious about fairness for all in the housing market, they would signal their intention to produce a national infrastructure plan that clearly sets out a long term commitment to end the housing crisis within a generation.

Nick Horne, Chief Executive of Knightstone Housing. 

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