… “within existing spending plans” and ensuring a “one-for-one replacement” of each home sold.
… “baffling, unworkable and a dangerous gimmick.”
News and comment on the latest housing policy proposal:
The Prime Minister has announced 2.5 million tenants renting their homes from housing associations will be given the right to buy them outright.
Mr Johnson restated the government’s commitment to extending a home-buying scheme, known as right to buy, to housing association tenants. He said he wanted to extend it “within existing spending plans” and ensure a “one-for-one replacement” of each home sold.
Michael Gove has committed to making funding available to ensure that housing association homes sold under a new Right to Buy scheme are replaced with new supply on a one-for-one basis. Speaking in advance of the full announcement of plans for a revamp of the former 2015 Conservative manifesto policy, which was later dropped after a pilot in the West Midlands met with mixed success, the housing secretary said the relaunch would see the plan rolled out nationwide, without impacting on the amount of social housing stock.
Whilst the Chartered Institute of Housing is supportive of measures to help people into home ownership, extending the Right to Buy to housing associations is not the right policy to achieve this. It would lead to a reduction in the overall number of affordable homes with little prospect of homes sold being replaced on anything like a one for one basis.
Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, called the announcement ‘baffling, unworkable and a dangerous gimmick’
Housing charity Crisis said the policy had not been thought out and would not address huge problems across the social housing sector, adding it was “unrealistic” to think the sales would not lead to a further reduction in housing supply.
In tough electoral times, politicians look for policies that galvanise the hearts and minds of a despondent electorate. Boris Johnson proved no different when in last month he announced his intention to extend Thatcher’s flagship right to buy policy to housing association tenants…
The prevailing attitude towards social housing won’t change without pressure. At NEF, we are launching Homes for Us, a campaign for affordable and desirable social homes for the 21st century. You can help us prepare by contributing to our Social Housing Listening Campaign, which is gathering perceptions and perspectives on social housing.
The term “affordable housing” to most people is about as trustworthy as “the cake never left the Tupperware box”. Affordable houses have been springing up across England at a rate to match public apologies. But when a new development rolls into any town, most people who see the shiny billboard know the affordable homes promised will be anything but.