2015 Conservative right to buy manifesto pledge
The Conservative Party manifesto for the 2015 election includes a commitment to extend the right to buy scheme which was introduced in 1980 to help council housing tenants buy their homes at a discount from the full market value of the property.
Major changes were previously introduced to Right to Buy in April 2012 when maximum discounts were increased from as little as £16,000 in some areas to up to £77,000 across England and £102,700 in London.
This manifesto pledge proposes extending the right to buy to 1.3 million housing association tenants. Under the 1996 Housing Act, 800,000 housing association tenants already had the ‘right to acquire’ their homes at a small discount, but the Conservative’s propose extending the scheme to a further 500,000 housing association tenants and giving them the same discount as council housing tenants.
The scheme would be funded by local authorities selling their top third most expensive properties in the area when they become vacant and replacing them on a one-for-one basis with affordable homes. This is expected to include approximately 15,000 properties a year, raising £4.5 billion a year. £1 billion of money raised would be used to create a Brownfield Regeneration Fund to bring brownfield sites back into use.
The Conservative Party suggest that this will result in 400,000 new homes being built over five years.
Right to Buy will end in Scotland on 1 August 2016. Wales is also considering ending the scheme or reducing the discount from £16,000 to £8,000, and in Northern Ireland, the discount is capped at £24,000.
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