Act dismissed as toothless on right to buy
Housing providers in the north of England have dismissed the Housing Act as a ‘missed opportunity' to overhaul the right to buy. The act, which includes measures intended to stamp out exploitation of the right to buy, finally passed onto the statute book on Thursday. But the Northern Housing Consortium said the act would not help social housing providers to replace vital stock lost through the right to buy. Chief executive John Moralee said: ‘It is felt that this will prove to be a missed opportunity, as the new powers in the Housing Act which are to help with this problem will have little impact in practice.' He said that the key proposal to give social housing providers first refusal on former homes that are up for sale would be of little use because the homes would have to be sold at market value. ‘With organisations having to sell properties at a large discount and many having limited percentages of these receipts to reinvest, it is unlikely that many organisations will be able to take up these first refusal opportunities,' he said. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is understood to be considering further reforms to the policy after the consortium presented it with a dossier of evidence highlighting its unintended consequences (Inside Housing, 12 November).