Communities secretary Greg Clark has vowed extensions to the Government’s Right to Buy scheme will not lower numbers of affordable housing.
Proposals to allow housing association tenants to purchase their homes at a discounted rate are due to be announced in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday.
Housing chiefs earlier this year branded plans to extend a 35% discount to 1.3m housing association tenants a ‘preposterous’ solution that would hit the 1.7m people currently waiting for social housing in England.
However Clark this morning defended the policy, saying on the BBC’s Today Programme that ‘just because you’ve signed a social tenancy you should be signing away your aspiration forever to own a home’.
‘Every housing association property sold will be replaced one-for-one with a new property. So it is not only allowing people to meet their aspiration but also to increase the housing stock as well,’ he said.
‘When the house is sold to the existing tenant its not lost, it is housing someone who has the meant to pay for it.
‘What is released can then build an extra home. It is adding to the housing stock.’