David Cameron will today announce at The Conservative manifesto launch that the ‘Right to buy’ scheme will be extended to 1.3 million families living in housing association property, at a substantial discount.
Tenants who buy their houses will be eligible for a 35% discount on the market value, increasing by 1% for every extra year they have been a tenant, while those in flats will get a 50% discount which goes up 2% every year they have been a tenant.
The CONservatives are trying to recreate Maggie Thatcher’s right to buy scheme for council tenants introduced in 1980. Which has lead to over 1.5 million council houses in the UK being sold in this manner. Half of the proceeds of the sale were paid to the local authorities, but they were restricted to spending the money to reduce their debt, rather than being able to spend it on building new homes. The effect was to reduce the council housing stock in the UK. Critics also claim that it compounded a housing shortage for those on low income, initiated a national house price bubble, allowed speculating investors to be able to buy up council properties through deferred transaction agreements and led to the displacement and social cleansing of traditional communities.
*Over 17% of the UK households live in social housing.
* Over 45% of the country’s social housing stock is now owned by housing associations.
* Over 1.8 million people are on the social housing waiting list
* 93,000 children are living in temporary accommodation.
* 2013/14 Saw the lowest number of social houses built since the Second World War.
* 5 million people claim housing benefit in the UK, the cost has risen by £650m a year since 2010.
* 87,500 households were accepted as being homeless by their Local authority in 2012/13.
The Conservatives plan could see the end of social housing in some parts of the UK, as housing associations will stop building new homes in desirable areas because of the fear the houses will be brought by tenants who want to make a fast buck and end up with the property going to the private sector. The other part of Cameron’s plan is to force councils to sell their most valuable 210,000 properties from their remaining housing stock.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, has previously warned against the idea of selling off social housing. He said: “It could effectively cleanse many towns of hard-working people who simply can’t afford the high prices of buying or renting privately.”
B heard media.