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Relaunch of Right to Buy Scheme

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David Cameron’s latest policy will allow approximately two million social tenants to buy their properties with a discount of up to £75,000. 

The £75,000 discount will be a quadrupled figure discount in London and a trebling in the other parts of Britain.

This would be a re-launch of one of Margaret Thatcher’s main legacies.

Since the introduction of this scheme in 1980 the government have stated two million social homes have been bought by their occupants, this number has according to government statistics dwindled over the last year to fewer than 4,000.

This would allow social tenants to have a chance to get on the property ladder. The increase in the discount will no doubt increase the numbers of council properties purchased by current tenants and subsequently provide funds for new build properties therefore further simulating the housing market.

However, this will have a detrimental affect on the already long waiting lists for social housing properties. Once the social tenants have purchased their property there is one less property on local authority books to provide to those on the waiting lists. However, there is a recognition that the capital receipts generated will not replace properties on a one for one basis and certainly not swiftly due to the inevitable delays in the process.

With the economy in its current state there has been an increase in those on benefits and in those subsequently seeking social housing as opposed to private rental properties. Ultimately this latest proposal could have a major impact on the homelessness figures in England.

The question to ask is whether the consequences have really been thought through by David Cameron and his Ministers.

By housing law expert, Jessica Hogg