Right To Buy Scheme To Extend To Housing Association Tenants

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to extend the Right to Buy Scheme to Housing Association tenants. The scheme is currently only open to tenants in local authority housing, who are given the option to buy their homes at a significant discount. Now, the government intends to boost home ownership by including Housing Association tenants.

The prime minister said: “For four decades it has been possible for council home tenants to use a discount to buy the property they live in.”

He added: “Over that time almost 2m people have been helped into home ownership. They have switched identities and psychology, from being dependent on the state for every repair, from damp-proofing to a new front door, to being in charge of their own family home, able to make improvements and add value as they please.”

However, one Hull property manager, David Baybut, criticised the government’s plans, claiming that they failed to address the underlying causes of the problem, which is insufficient housing stock. Allowing more tenants to purchase homes would reduce the amount of much-needed social housing that is available.

Speaking to Hull Live, Mr Baybut said: “House associations face additional challenges with targets on net zero and remedial action following the Grenfell tragedy. This policy will not help fix the lack of supply of much-needed homes at a time when development costs are spiralling upwards.”

To qualify for a 35% discount, a tenant must have lived in a home for three to five years. For every year past that, an additional 1% discount can be claimed, to a maximum of 70%. The scheme was first introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1980, and has helped thousands of low-income families to buy their own homes.

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