Council tenants unable to take up their Right to Buy will have the help they need to become homeowners under plans announced by Brandon Lewis today (27 March 2015).
The Housing Minister announced that 42 councils will each receive a share of nearly £20 million to help tenants with the Right to Buy to buy their own home on the open market.
The Right to Buy Social Mobility Fund will particularly help those looking to move for work, to be nearer to family, or those whose properties are difficult to mortgage.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:
The Right to Buy offers a helping hand to thousands of council tenants across the country to become homeowners – but some remain trapped in their own homes, unable to take up this opportunity.
The Right to Buy Social Mobility Fund changes, and offers people the chance to get on the property ladder and buy a home that best suits their needs.
Helping people onto the property ladder
Housebuilding, and supporting aspiring homeowners, are key parts of the government’s long-term economic plan.
The government reinvigorated the Right to Buy in 2012, increasing discounts so they currently stand at £77,000 outside of London and £102,700 in the capital.
Since then, more than 33,000 households have taken up their Right to Buy, with nearly £730 million in sales receipts being reinvested in affordable housebuilding.
Overall, council housing starts are at a 23-year high.
Today, Brandon Lewis announced the allocation of £18.48 million Right to Buy Social Mobility funding, to help tenants across the country to buy on the open market.
Those councils will now set up local schemes, so that tenants can apply for £20,000 outside London, or £30,000 in the Capital, towards buying a new home – freeing up their social home for a family in need.
Tenants will be able to apply for this support if they are able to support a mortgage but cannot buy the property they are in.
This could benefit older people who want to buy smaller properties or be nearer their family, or someone looking to move to take up a job opportunity.
Alternatively, it could help those who are in properties that are difficult to mortgage because of the way they are built.
Right to Buy discounts currently stand at £77,000 outside London and £102,700 inside London – from April 6 these discounts will increase by the Consumer Price Index measure of inflation to £77,900 outside London and £103,900 in the capital.
Measures in the Deregulation Act have increased the numbers of tenants eligible for the Right to Buy – previously, a tenant would have to live in council housing for 5 years before qualifying; this has been reduced to 3 years.
42 of the 55 councils that bid into the scheme will receive a share of £18.48 million
A decision has been deferred on whether to award a share of the Fund to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets until it can provide the necessary assurances about its corporate governance.