Monday, 04 May 2015

Fed calls for time limit on right to buy replacement

The National Housing Federation has called on the government to set a fixed time frame for the replacement of homes sold under the right to buy.

Prime minister David Cameron yesterday officially launched the ‘reinvigorated’ right to buy in England, which includes a significantly increased discount cap of £75,000.

The government has promised all additional homes sold through the right to buy will be replaced with new homes for affordable rent.

Questions have been raised about whether it can deliver on this promise, given the substantial discounts that will be available.

The NHF is calling for the government to set a limit on the length of time before money raised through the right to buy has to be spent on building a new home.

Chief executive David Orr said: ‘Britain is in the middle of a huge housing crisis and the redesigned right to buy scheme should help more people buy their own home.

‘But with 4.5 million people on waiting lists, it is crucial the scheme replaces the homes sold, one-for-one, as soon as possible. Otherwise we’ll never get to grips with England’s housing shortage.

‘We want the government to introduce a fixed time by which the money raised is re-invested in a new affordable home - or it risks undoing what it aims to achieve.’

Under the government’s plans only 30 per cent of the cost of building a new home would be funded through right to buy receipts, with the remainder to be secured through other financing mechanisms, or council assets.

If local authorities are not able to use the money locally then it will be moved into a central pot and redistributed by the Homes and Communities Agency.

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