Government should think twice about Right to Buy

Ryan Bembridge

January 26, 2016

The government should reconsider extending Right to Buy which will erode housing associations’ ability to build homes, director of Legal & General housing partnerships Stephen Smith has said.

Yesterday the government kicked off its pilot with five housing associations: L&Q, Riverside, Saffron Housing, Sovereign and Thames Valley Housing Association.

Under the terms of the controversial scheme every home sold will need to be replaced nationally with a new affordable home, but the government hasn’t specified when or where the replacement homes will be built or if they will be in the same areas of the country.

Smith said: “It is unfortunate to see that the extension of the Right to Buy policy is starting to come into force, as it will ultimately erode housing associations’ ability to build homes.

“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.

“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.

“This will reduce the number of affordable properties available in the UK when we need a greater supply of housing, not less.”

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