Monday, 20 July 2015 10:49

'Deep concern' at Right-to-Buy plan

Written by  Ruralcity Media
'Deep concern' at Right-to-Buy plan

Rural experts have voiced "deep concern" at plans to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

The government is proposing to extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants as part of its Housing Bill.

But the Rural Housing Alliance and Rural Services Network said in a briefing note that the proposal could have a serious potential impact on the existing and future supply of rural affordable housing.

A suite of exemptions would be needed to ensure a continuing supply of much-needed rural affordable homes, vital to retaining vibrant and mixed rural communities.

The Rural Housing Alliance brings together the principal developers of affordable rural housing across England, working with rural communities to enable and invest in new and existing homes.

It provides a collective voice to improve the supply of rural affordable housing through influencing policy and providing a forum for sharing good practice and experience.

The Rural Services Network represents 150 local authorities and more than 100 rural service providers in both the public and private sector.

The two organisations said there was already a severe lack of affordable housing in rural areas.

Those dependent on local incomes were unable to afford to buy in the market and there was a declining availability of rented affordable homes, they warned in the briefing note.

"The extension of the Right to Buy to housing association tenants would make this situation very much worse by reducing current supply and future delivery."

In some cases, it would "lead to the complete lack of affordable housing" in the parish.

"In so doing it will remove the opportunity for those on low incomes to live in rural areas, undermining the social and economic viability of rural communities.

"In short resulting in the outcome this Government has stated it seeks to avoid, the exile of these people from their families, roots, shared history and each other."

To download the briefing note, click here.

The Country Land and Business Association has also voiced disquiet at the government's proposal to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

CLA policy director Christopher Price said the proposal threatened to turn the "already challenging situation into a catastrophe for delivery of affordable housing in the countryside".

He added: "Across the countryside there are landowners that want to provide land for affordable housing, they understand that this means selling it at less than market value for this purpose.

"They will not do this if they know the homes will eventually be sold off into the open market and not kept for those in most need within their communities.

"It is therefore vital ministers put in place a specific exemption from the policy for homes in rural communities, for continued existence of an affordable rental sector in rural areas."

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Michael)

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    Do you really think the government is going to change its mind or is going to modify its proposals in anyway, they are vote catching, many of the old council houses have fallen into the hands of private landlords who hike up the rents knowing that the state will pay the excess. Look around the local councils you will find 3/4 landlords as councillors. They do not want change,or lots of new houses to be built that would kill the golden goose. The demand for housing can only be met by new building

  • Community Land Trusts are also threatened by Right to Buy especially as they often rely on low priced or donated land to build really affordable housing. Friendly land owners will not give land for someone else to sell off at a profit. CLTs undertake to keep their housing permanently affordable and can not do this under Right to Buy. They are campaigning against this disastrous policy and there is more information on www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk.

    from Minehead, Somerset, UK
  • Guest (David Cask)

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    The pre election statement by the Prime Minister to sell off Affordable Homes to the tenants was ill thought out, because it was merely a carrot to get young voters to vote Tory. He should be encouraging local employers to create more local jobs to offer them a financial future. The rents for rural homes are just about affordable for young families to live in now.
    Help businesses to grow and create local jobs for young families and give them a future to look forward to.

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