Social Housing Tenants To Be Given New Rights To Buy

Social Housing Reform
The Government has announced new proposals designed to help rebalance the relationship between social housing tenants and landlords.

The social housing green paper asked residents across the country for their opinions on social housing, with the responses forming the basis for consultation.

The green paper sets out 5 core themes:

  • Tackling stigma and celebrating thriving communities
  • Expanding supply and supporting home ownership
  • Effective resolution of complaints
  • Empowering residents and strengthening the regulator
  • Ensuring homes are safe and decent

Amongst the proposals is the right for social housing tenants to buy as little as 1% of their home each year under a shared-ownership scheme.

The right to buy scheme is being touted as an accessible way for social housing tenants to get on the property market and own at least part of their home.

Secretary of State for Communities, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said: “Providing quality and fair social housing is a priority for this government.

“Our green paper offers a landmark opportunity for major reform to improve fairness, quality and safety to residents living in social housing across the country.

Regardless of whether you own your home or rent in the social sector, residents deserve security, dignity and the opportunities to build a better life.”

In addition to the right to buy, the green paper also sets out plans to tackle the stigma of social housing and support the building of more houses.

But Does It Go Far Enough?

Despite the positive words being spoken by the Government, others are not convinced of the proposals.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said the government’s plan was “full of warm words, but doesn’t commit a single extra penny towards building the social homes needed by the 1.2 million people on the waiting list”.

John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, said: “This pitiful document reveals a government that has run out of ideas on housing. Nothing in this green paper measures up to the scale of the housing crisis.

“The number of new social rented homes is at a record low but there is no new money to increase supply, and ministers are still preventing local authorities run by all parties from building the council homes their communities need.

“After eight years of failure on housing, ministers should back Labour’s long-term plan for a million new genuinely affordable homes over 10 years.”

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