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Right to Buy Funding Plan Comes Under Criticism

February 11, 2016

The House of Commons communities and local government committee has warned that the government is relying on what it describes as an ‘extremely questionable’ model to fund the extension of the right to buy scheme to housing associations in England. The cross party committee recommends that the government should fund the scheme, rather than forcing local authorities to sell high value council homes to pay the bill.

Clive Betts, who chairs the committee, told The Guardian “The government needs to set out more detail on how it will meet its target of at least one-for-one replacement of the sold homes, particularly given issues such as the availability of land, the capacity of the building industry and the uncertainty of income from council home sales.”

Critics of the right to buy policy have voiced concerns that large numbers of homes will end up in the private rented sector. Current figures suggest that 40% of homes purchased under right to buy are already being rented out.

The Local Government Association estimate that councils could lose up to £2.2 billion from housing budgets by 2020 as a result of cuts in social housing rents. Concerns were also expressed by the committee over the plan to impose a 1% rental cut for four years on housing associations, which they say would threaten their ability to build new homes, and provide adequate services for tenants.

You can download a full copy of the report HERE.