Thomas Bridge 14 April 2015

Conservative plans for Right to Buy extension ‘won’t stack up’

Conservative plans for Right to Buy extension ‘won’t stack up’ image

Housing chiefs have rounded on Conservative plans to extend Right to Buy to 1.3m tenants in housing association properties.

The concerns were raised ahead of publication of the Conservative General Election Manifesto, which will outline plans for widening the reach of Margaret Thatcher’s landmark policy.

To fund the £4.5bn annual cost of the scheme, councils will be forced to sell off their most valuable 210,000 social homes as soon as they became vacant.

Party leader David Cameron is expected to say today: ‘Conservatives have dreamed of building a property-owning democracy for generations, and today I can tell you what this generation of Conservatives is going to do.

‘The next Conservative Government will extend the Right to Buy to all housing association tenants in this country - 1.3 million extra families; a new generation given the security of a home of their own.

‘So this generation of Conservatives can proudly say it: the dream of a property-owning democracy is alive - and we will fulfil it.’

Around 1.88m council homes are thought to have been sold under Right to Buy since it was launched in 1980.

The National Housing Association warned today that local authorities had only built ‘just over 345,000 homes’ to replace these properties, adding that the potential extension of Right to Buy was the ‘wrong answer’ to the housing crisis.

Gavin Smart, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, added: ‘Extending Right to Buy to housing associations is not going to tackle the housing crisis – in fact it could make things worse for people on lower incomes who are already struggling to access a decent home at a price they can afford.’

‘The Conservatives say that forcing councils to sell off their most valuable properties would fund this extension plus 400,000 new homes over five years – we fear the figures simply won’t stack up.

‘And it could have a huge impact on councils’ ability to build new homes, particularly in more expensive areas like London and the south east, where it might actually make more sense for them to borrow against the value of these properties so they can fund more homes,’ Smart added.

Simon Parker, director of body the New Local Government Network, said: ‘Forcing councils to sell-off their highest value properties is simply bad policy. Money should not be taken from hard-strapped local authorities to fund a central pot to compensate housing associations for the Conservatives’ decision to introduce Right to Buy with high discounts to their tenants.’

Meeting new planning requirements for trees image

Meeting new planning requirements for trees

Concrete block permeable paving offers an important opportunity to help satisfy the requirement for extensive tree planting and retention of existing trees in developments. Chris Hodson reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Accountant x2

Islington London Borough Council
£39,462 - £45,594 per annum
There are two roles currently being advertised, one working with our Resources finance team, and one with our Housing and Public Health finance team. Islington, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Islington London Borough Council

Programme Director – Fisheries

Falkland Islands Government
£50,771 up to £56,292
The Programme Director – Fisheries will support the Director of Natural Resources Falkland Islands (FK)
Recuriter: Falkland Islands Government

Principal Engineer/Team Leader Street Works

Bath & North East Somerset Council
£39,880 - £42,821 pa
The Council’s Street Works Team is responsible for managing all aspects of road works and events that take place on our highway network. Keynsham, Bristol
Recuriter: Bath & North East Somerset Council

Social Worker / Advanced Practitioner – Children & Families Service

North Yorkshire County Council
£30,451 - £39,880 per annum pro rata + relocation support
North Yorkshire County Council have a national reputation for excellence. Skipton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Senior Technician - Asset Management - Highways & Flood Risk

West Berkshire Council
£23,541 to £29,577 per annum (Grade G)
We are currently looking to recruit to two exciting opportunities who will join us and play a role in improving West Berkshire’s highways. Newbury, Berkshire
Recuriter: West Berkshire Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue