England: CIH renews support for Right to Buy suspension

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has reiterated its call for the suspension of the Right to Buy after new government figures revealed more homes were again sold under the policy than were replaced.

Figures released yesterday by the ministry of housing, communities and local government have revealed 2,452 homes were sold by councils in England under Right to Buy during April to June 2018, while 837 were started or acquired to replace them using receipts from the scheme.

Since Right to Buy discounts were increased in April 2012, 69,467 homes have been sold while only 18,958 have been started or acquired to replace them.

Chartered Institute of Housing head of policy, Melanie Rees, said: “Not only are we failing to build enough new homes for social rent, we are losing them at a time when we need them more than ever. Our analysis shows that we lost more than 150,000 social rented homes between 2012 and 2017 due to right to buy and other factors, and that figure will reach 230,000 by 2020 unless we take action now.

“We support the principle of helping tenants move into home ownership but it cannot be at the expense of other people in need. We need to look at fairer ways to help tenants into home ownership, because this is clearly not the way to do it.

“We know that the government is consulting on ways to make it easier for councils to replace the homes they sell under right to buy, which is welcome – but we still believe ministers should suspend the scheme to stem the loss of social rented homes and look at more effective ways to help people access home ownership.”

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