Shelter leads opposition to new tenant Right To Buy proposal

Shelter has made an outspoken attack on a government proposal to extend Right To Buy to housing association tenants.

The idea – believed to be a personal hobbyhorse of Prime Minister Boris Johnson – would involve substantial discounts for housing association tenants, adopting the same principle that was used for Right To Buy for council tenants.

The idea has come to light in the form of a government leak to the Daily Telegraph, which says the initiative will apply only to England and not the rest of the UK. 

Some have called for this to be extended further – both former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick and the deputy director of Generation Rent Dan Wilson Craw have suggested it be applied to private sector tenants too.

However, Shelter chief executive Polly Neate has spoken out against the latest idea.

She says: “The hare-brained idea of extending Right to Buy to housing associations is the opposite of what the country needs. 

“There could not be a worse time to sell off what remains of our last truly affordable social homes. 

“The living cost crisis means more people are on the brink of homelessness than homeownership – nearly 34,000 households in England became homeless between October and December last year, more than 8,000 of them were families with children. 

“Right to Buy has already torn a massive hole in our social housing stock as less than five per cent of the homes sold off have ever been replaced. These half-baked plans have been tried before and they’ve failed. 

“Over one million households are stuck on social housing waiting lists in England, and with every bill skyrocketing, the government should be building more social homes so we have more not less.”

Written by: Houseladder