I agree with the NHF – the Tory proposals for the extension of the Right To Buy are wrong

I have had a briefing from the National Housing Federation. They write regarding the Conservative Party manifesto and its inclusion of a commitment to an extension of the Right to Buy to tenants living in housing association properties. The NHF is unhappy about this, and so am I.

Their website is worth checking out.

The headlines from the briefing:

The Conservative Party has pledged in their manifesto to extend Right to Buy to housing associations. This would mean tenants living in a housing association home could buy these properties at a discount of between 35% and 70% (up to a maximum of over £77,000 outside London and over £102,000 in the capital). To pay for the extension a Conservative government would force councils to sell off high value homes.

This country currently needs 245,000 homes a year just to keep up with demand, 80,000 of which need to be affordable homes. We are currently building around half that number. Proposals like these, which would reduce the overall affordable housing supply and are not the most effective way of targeting public money, will deepen the crisis further.

1. It would reduce the overall supply of affordable homes
2. The policy is unfair to people not living in housing association homes and taxpayer’ money could be better targeted at ending the housing crisis
3. There are better ways to help people into home ownership
4. The ambition of housing associations would be constrained
5. The independence of housing associations would be undermined


One Response to I agree with the NHF – the Tory proposals for the extension of the Right To Buy are wrong

  1. We have made “home ownership” a fetish and from this stem huge numbers of apparently insolvable problems.

    Housing is stupidly expensive, but any of us who have owned a house for more than about 10 years will be sitting on a very nice (tax free) capital gain and we are damned if we are going to give that up – it’s our pension security, our fund for long term care, our equity to put the kids through university and provide them with a deposit …

    But there is another political dimension to this. If people are mortgaged up to the hilt they will also be desperate to stay in employment and motivated to take any overtime going. Leaving aside the miserable “salary slave” existence, it also has labour market implications – which I suspect appeal to the more short-term thinking reactionaries.

    A small state with no state safety net
    A voluntary sector that is undermined and less able to provide a safety net
    Expensive non-discretionary costs (the mortgage and fuel)
    Means very willing (but miserable) workers

    Can any party address this set of intertwined problems?

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