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LGA proposes Right to Buy reforms

The Local Government Association has suggested new reforms to the Right to Buy scheme, to ensure that councils are able to stem the yearly loss of social housing stock.

According to figures from the last financial year, 10,896 homes were sold through the Right to Buy scheme, however only 3,447 of these have been replaced. Considering the ongoing housing shortages, which sees more than a million people sitting on council housing waiting lists and councils spending around £1.74 billion every year on temporary accommodation, major reforms to the Right to Buy scheme are being urged.

The changes that the LGA is proposing include:

  • Giving councils more control over how and when they can use funding raised through Right to Buy on the development, delivery, or acquisition of new homes.
  • Further power to protect the council’s financial investment in social housing stock from loss-making transactions.
  • Allowing councils more freedom to shape the Right to Buy scheme locally so that it works in the best way for the area, housing market, and communities.
  • Right to buy LGA quote


The Local Government Association’s Housing Spokesperson, Cllr Darren Rodwell, said:

“We are facing a significant housing shortage in this country which has pushed council budgets to the brink as they struggle to find suitable homes for an ever-increasing number of people.

“Whilst the Right to Buy can and has delivered home ownership for many, the current form does not work for local authorities and many of those most in need of housing support are simply unable to access secure, safe social housing.

“It is time for the Government to overhaul a system which has seen our social housing stock significantly diminish. If the Government adopts our proposals this would allow councils to resume their role as a major builder of affordable homes, which support strong and healthy communities and help to build prosperous places.”

The new position paper from the LGA, which comes on behalf of all the councils across England, has established that the UK Government budget has got to include important reforms to the Right to Buy scheme to make sure that it works for everybody. Whilst it does recognise that the scheme has given many people the opportunity to become homeowners, it does not work effectively for those that are in need of social housing.

The main reason given for this is the increasing discounts that are restricting councils’ abilities to use receipts. Analysis from the LGA has found that £7.5 billion worth of discounts have been handed out since 2012.

Public Sector Executive’s Homes and Homelessness Online Conference will delve into housing shortages, affordable housing, and the work being done across the public sector to tackle the homelessness crisis, register here to engage with sector leaders and gain key insight.


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