41% of Right to Buy homes are now private rentals

41% of Right to Buy homes are now private rentals

9:49 AM, 13th May 2024, About 2 months ago 31

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Research reveals that 41% of properties sold under Right to Buy are now privately rented – that’s around 820,000 homes.

And since 2015, another 109,000 former council homes are now in the private rented sector (PRS), the New Economics Foundation (NEF) says.

It warns that the sales are a key factor behind the dwindling availability of social housing.

The organisation also says that since Right to Buy was introduced in 1980, the proportion of social renters has nearly halved – the English Housing Survey says it has fallen from 31% to 16% in 2022/​23.

Impact of the Right to Buy scheme

Hollie Wright, an assistant researcher at the NEF, said: “While many have benefited from it, we need to be honest about the devastating impact the Right to Buy scheme has had on our housing system.

“There are millions of people in this country who are denied access to safe, affordable, secure social homes, partly because of Right to Buy.”

She adds: “It’s time to give local councils the powers they need to reverse the damage Right to Buy has done in their communities and give them the tools to tackle the housing crisis.”

Percentage of homes sold under Right to Buy

The NEF is also revealing which councils have a high percentage of homes sold under Right to Buy which are now in the PRS, they are:

  • Brighton: 86% of homes sold are privately rented
  • Milton Keynes: 73% of homes sold are now privately rented
  • Dover: 59% of homes sold are privately rented.

The organisation says that forcing a council to sell a home at a discount means they struggle to build new council homes.

Right to Buy is aimed at boosting homeownership

While Right to Buy is aimed at boosting homeownership, the NEF report suggests it’s failing in this aspect as well.

The research found a near-equal number of additional homes sold under Right to Buy compared to the number of ex-council properties now in private rentals between 2014 and 2023.

Conor O’Shea, Generation Rent’s policy and public affairs manager, said: “It is no surprise that the haemorrhaging of homes from the social sector to the hands of private landlords has been a failure for those who actually live there.

“More than a million households are waiting for a council home, while paying much higher rents to private landlords, often for homes in a much poorer condition than they’d have in social housing.”

Devolve more power to local councils

NEF is recommending that Westminster devolves more power to local councils so they can:

  • Suspend Right to Buy when it leads to affordable housing shortages
  • End Right to Buy for homes that are newly built or acquired by the council
  • Prevent Right to Buy homes from being let in the PRS
  • Reduce the discount to buy – and extend the qualifying period.

NEF also says that the Treasury should amend rules to make it easier for councils to use finance the building of replacement council homes.

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10:09 AM, 21st May 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Marlena Topple at 20/05/2024 - 11:42
I see what you are saying. However, renting a property for perhaps 1/3 of what the going rate would be for a given an area then being given the 'right' to buy that asset that you rented at a discount at a purchase price that itself receives a 35%-50% discount is beyond barking whether you reinvest that money in housing or not.

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