Gov confirms RTB and self-build

Sarah Davidson

May 26, 2015

The government said its “ground-breaking” housing bill will include legislation to extend Right to Buy to 1.3 million housing association tenants and Right to Build, a policy designed to boost housebuilding.

Both policies were trailed as part of the Conservative’s manifesto pledges in the run up to May’s general election.

Clark said: “Our housing bill will offer over a million people a helping hand onto the housing ladder. That is what a government for working people is about – making sure people have the security they need to build a brighter future for them and their families.”

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said: “Schemes like Help to Buy are helping thousands of people who want to buy their own home – but we need to go further.

“Anyone who works hard and wants to get on the property ladder should have the opportunity to do so, which is why tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech will include measures so a million more people have the chance to do exactly that.

“And with housing starts at their highest since 2007, we’ll take steps that will get workers on sites and keep the country building.

“The vast majority of people want to own their own home. While substantial progress has already been made in helping people achieve this, with more than 200,000 households helped to buy a home since 2010 through government-backed schemes, further action must be taken.”

The bill includes a range of measures to offer England’s 1.3 million housing association tenants the chance to benefit from the same opportunities council tenants enjoy, with significant discounts to buy their homes.

Receipts from selling an owner’s current property will help build replacement affordable homes on a one-for-one basis.

Lewis claimed this means the number of homes across all tenures will effectively double for each home sold, increasing national housing supply and creating a new affordable home for those in need from each sale.

First-time buyers will be further helped by plans to deliver 200,000 Starter Homes, which will be available at a 20% discount to first-time buyers under 40.

The housing minister added that Right to Build will also help increase housing supply and diversify the housing sector by giving people the right to be allocated land with planning permission for them to self-build or commission a local builder to build a home. Self-build delivers a majority of homes in many other countries and can act as a boost to smaller and medium sized builders.

He said: “The bill will confirm housing as a priority for the government and ensure home ownership is once again seen as an attainable aspiration.”

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