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Tories pledge to extend Right to Buy

Prime Minister David Cameron will announce today that a Conservative government would extend the Right to Buy programme to 1.3m housing association tenants.

Some 500,000 housing association tenants can currently purchase their homes under the existing “Right to Acquire” scheme.

The Conservatives would also raise the discount offered to housing association tenants to match the 35 per cent standard discount available to council renters under the Right to Buy programme.

The pledge will come as part of the Conservative manifesto, due to be published later today.

Cameron will say the Tories would offer “security at every stage of your life”, from training, to buying a home, childcare, a well-funded NHS and a decent retirement.

The housing plans will be funded by a requirement on council homes to sell off their most expensive housing stock when it is vacated.

The Conservatives estimate the sales would raise £4.5bn, with councils required to build cheaper homes on a one-to-one basis, backed by a new £1bn fund to develop on brownfield land.

It is forecast that 15,000 homes will be bought and sold each year as a result, with construction of a further 400,000 new homes expected by the end of the next parliament.

But the National Housing Federation has already disputed the forecasts on new housing stock.

The NHF said 1.88m council homes have been sold under Right to Buy since 1980, but just over 345,000 homes have been built by local authorities.

Current Right to Buy rules allow people living in council houses to purchase their homes at a discounted rate, depending on the length of their tenancy and the type of property, up to a maximum of £77,900, or £103,900 in London.

Similar programmes in Scotland have been scrapped by devolved authorities over concerns on the impact to housing stock.

The plans come after Labour unveiled its own manifesto yesterday. Labour leader Ed Miliband has promised his party’s plans will be funded without any additional borrowing, as well as committing to reducing the deficit every year.

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I think it inapproprite for me to make a political reply so close to the election, but please use the Conservative Party title not fall into the opposition’s title of ‘ Tory”.

  2. So as a private homeowner and tax payer I am subsidising this policy – is this a socialist or communist policy?

  3. Sean – it’s Communist! it’s like an old Soviet style aquisition. Instructing Housing Associations to sell off their property assets at 35% of their true value is straight out of the Stalinist playbook.

    Derek – That’s a bit touchy. ‘Tory’ has been used since the 19th century! I’ve even heard cabinet ministers and party members use it themselves!

  4. Scratch the surface and the Conservatives are as bad as any other party. Lacking any moral principle, prepared to buy votes and refuse to do the right thing for fear of losing that vote. The political system is getting corrupted over the years – every MP I have voted for has gone native and refuses to fight for local causes if it goes against national policy, however misguided it may be.

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