Council inundated with right to buy queries
A London council has received more than 1,000 enquiries from its tenants on right to buy since the government increased the available discounts.
Wandsworth said that the number of formal applications for the scheme has doubled after it was announced that council tenants could get up to £75,000 off the price of their home. The previous maximum discount in most parts of London was £16,000.
The news follows an Inside Housing investigation earlier this month that showed applications in London in the first month since discounts were raised in April equalled half the total number for the whole of 2011/12.
‘The great thing about right to buy is that it offers ordinary families the chance to enjoy all the benefits of home ownership,’ said council leader Ravi Govindia. ‘That’s why we have been pressing the government to bring the scheme back to life and it’s terrific to see so many households taking advantage of the higher discount.
‘The tenants I’ve spoken to have been absolutely delighted with the changes and many are now in the process of applying for a mortgage. In the weeks ahead we will be touring the borough to make sure all of our tenants are aware that this life changing scheme has been revived.’
The government has committed to build a new affordable home for every one sold under the right to buy. However, the reinvigorated scheme has attracted criticism from some quarters for not committing to deliver ‘like-for-like’ rather than ‘one-for-one’ replacement.
Councils are also still negotiating the terms under which they would be allowed to reinvest right to buy sales receipts locally rather than return them to a national pool.