TORY HOUSING MINISTER BRANDED ‘RIGHT -TO- BUY A ‘SHAM’

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David Cameron’s flagship election bribe,
to let Housing association tenants have the Right-to-buy their homes, at a massive discount, is now falling apart.

The Lib dem MP Tessa Munt has revealed a letter sent to her in Oct 2013, from Tory Housing Minister Kris Hopkins.

In the letter Hopkins wrote: “Housing associations are independent, not for profit voluntary bodies and if they are obliged to consistently sell off their stock at less than market value they might find it difficult to borrow which could impact adversely on their repair and maintenance programmes and affect the future provision of affordable housing.”

And Mr Hopkins added: “Any increase to the discount available under the [right to buy] would only be possible through upfront central government subsidy, potentially incurring a high liability for the public purse.”

The letter comes after polls show the Right-to-buy pledge has not gone down well with voters.

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OTHER REACTION TO THE GREAT SOCIAL HOUSING SELL OFF?

HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS:

Ruth Davison, the National housing Federation’s policy director, said: “We fully support the aspiration of homeownership but extending right-to-buy to housing associations is the wrong solution to our housing crisis.

“Following 40 years of successive governments’ failure to build the homes the country needs, soaring rents and house prices and the biggest baby boom since the 1950s, ensuring that there enough homes today and tomorrow must be our nation’s top priority.”

Tony Stacey, chair of a group of 100 housing associations and chief executive of South Yorkshire Housing Association, told trade publication Inside Housing that: ” We would definitely challenge it legally. This is so fundamentally critical to us. It would shoot up to the top of our risk map if it was confirmed. We are duty bound morally to fight it in any way we possibly can.”

CHARITIES:

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis said: ” The proposed extension of Right to Buy is also deeply worrying since it will mean a further decline in our already dwindling supply of affordable housing. This is not the way to tackle the housing crisis: we need more affordable housing not less.” 

BIG BUSINESS:

Chartered Institute of Housing deputy chief executive Gavin Smart said he feared “the figures simply won’t stack up” for the extension.

“Right-to-buy has already had a huge impact on the supply of genuinely affordable homes, which is being cut at a time when more and more people are in need. The next government should be reviewing the way the policy currently works, not extending it,” he

The blue chip Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) property firm warned that the Tory plan would not address the chronic shortage of housing.

Adam Challis, head of residential research at the Chicago-based JLL,  said: “The expansion of right to buy may be good politics, but represents terrible policy. This is exactly the kind of short-termist thinking that the country’s 4.7m households in social housing don’t need, not to mention the same number again of aspiring owners in private renting.”

B heard media

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