Right to Buy “reinvigorated” as council homes sold off at fastest rate in five years
Sharp increase in properties sold as eligibility is widened
May 17, 2013
Ministers have lauded the “reinvigorated” Right to Buy scheme after figures reveal that almost 6,000 homes have been sold in the 12 months to April this year. This is up from 2,638 during the previous year and is the highest level for five years. This followed the government’s decision to increase the discounts available to tenants to a maximum of £75,000.
The original scheme, launched under Margaret Thatcher in 1980, was a key factor in the current housing crisis with more than 5 million people on council house waiting lists. This has led to an explosion in families being housed in expensive temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts. The current government insist on “one for one” replacement which was banned during the 1980’s. However there is skepticism as to whether this will, in reality, lead to genuine replacements or just “affordable” housing where rents can be charged at up to 85% of market rates.