Press release

Historic agreement will extend Right to Buy to 1.3 million more tenants

The Prime Minister has announced a historic new agreement to extend the Right to Buy.

The Prime Minister today (7 October 2015) announced a historic new agreement with housing associations and the National Housing Federation that will extend the Right to Buy to 1.3 million more families across the country.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Some people said this would be impossible and that housing associations would never stand for it. Today we have secured a deal with housing associations to give their tenants the Right to Buy their home.

That will mean the first tenants can start to buy their homes from next year.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:

We’re determined to ensure that home ownership is seen as a reasonable aspiration for working people.

Right to Buy is a key part of this, offering a helping hand to millions of people who would have no hope of buying their own home without it.

Today’s historic agreement with housing associations and the National Housing Federation will extend that offer even more widely, while at the same time delivering thousands of new affordable homes across the country.

National Housing Federation Chief Executive David Orr said:

This reflects our commitment to work in partnership with the government to deliver the commitment to extend Right to Buy, increase home ownership and boost the supply of desperately-needed homes across the country.

This is a great offer for housing association tenants. It is also a great offer for the country, as our proposal means homes sold will be replaced, delivering an overall increase in housing supply.

This is an ambitious sector that last year built more than one in three of the country’s homes, matching each pound of taxpayers’ money with £6 of its own. We will build more.

Further information

The government has secured an agreement with housing associations to give their tenants the Right to Buy their own home, so that 1.3 million families will be given the chance to become homeowners.

The Right to Buy has already helped 2 million families to realise their dream of owning a home. Because all of the funds from selling off properties will be recycled toward replacement affordable properties, the proposals will not only increase home ownership, but help those who need a new affordable property, and boost overall housing supply.

The Right to Buy allows families in social properties to become home owners. But it is just one part of our broader home ownership programme which includes Help to Buy, Starter Homes, planning reforms to get more homes built on brownfield, a Right to Build for people who want to build their own home, and re-focusing housing spending on low cost home ownership. This agreement is a further step towards meeting the government’s commitment that an extra million more families will be able to become homeowners in this parliament over and above existing trends.

The National Housing Federation agreement - important points

Every housing association tenant would have the right to purchase a home at Right to Buy level discounts (subject to the Right to Buy eligibility requirements). The presumption is that housing associations would sell the tenant the property in which they live.

The government would compensate the housing association for the discount offered to the tenant and housing associations would retain the sales receipt to enable them to reinvest in the delivery of new homes.

Housing associations would use sales proceeds to deliver new supply and would have flexibility to replace rented homes with other tenures such as shared ownership.

Reflecting the existing Right to Buy, housing associations would have discretion not to sell a particular property in some limited circumstances, for example where a property is in a very rural area and could not be replaced, or where it is adapted for special needs tenants. However, even in these exceptional cases, housing associations would offer tenants the opportunity to use their discount to buy an alternative home from either their own or another association’s stock.

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