It has now been announced that the Government will finally be extending the Right to Buy scheme on a trial basis to those in housing associations.
The plan to do so was first announced in 2015 by the Conservative party, and now a £200m Voluntary Right to Buy Pilot for housing association tenants has been launched in the Midlands.
The idea of ‘Right to Buy’ was introduced in 1980, as a way to assist tenants looking to buy their home. A discount to the market value of the property is given, based on the length of time a buyer has lived as a tenant in the public sector.
If you’re eligible, you can be assisted by the scheme to purchase your first home at a discounted price. This can be up to £108,000 for buyers in London, or £80,900 for those outside of the capital.
To qualify, you must be a public sector tenant and have been so for a minimum of three years. This changed from five years in 2015.
You can make a joint application, either with another who shares your tenancy, your spouse or civil partner, or up to three family members who you have lived with for at least the past 12 months. Such family members do not have to be on your tenancy agreement, but the property must be their main place of occupancy.
James Brokenshire, Housing Secretary, has said: “This Government is committed to providing opportunities for people to get a foot on the property ladder and to have a place they can call their own.
“Our £200m investment into the Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy Pilot is the first step in helping housing association tenants realise their dream of home ownership.”
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “Over the past three years we have worked closely with the government on its proposal to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants. Of course, this pilot is not the finished product. We want to take the time to get this major endeavour right.
“It will be a success for everyone involved only if every home that is sold is replaced with a new affordable home, and if the application process is as smooth as possible for tenants.”
Learn more about the Right to Buy scheme here.