Government launch £200m Right to Buy Pilot to boost social home ownership

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Thousands of social housing association tenants are being given the chance to realise their dream of home ownership, with the launch of the Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy Pilot

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said this is the first step in helping housing association tenants get a foot on the property ladder.

The Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy Pilot follows measures announced in the social housing green paper, to make it easier for residents to progress into home ownership. The existing Right to Buy programme for council tenants supports families who have worked hard, paid their rent and have a sense of pride in their home.

Government is providing £200m for this Voluntary Right to Buy pilot, with places allocated via a ballot to ensure fairness for applicants.

After working closely with the National Housing Federation to make this launch a reality, money from the discounted sales will then be used to fund replacement homes.

Speaking at the launch, Brokenshire 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.”

Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation David Orr added: “Over the past 3 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.

“Now, we are looking forward to working with tenants, with housing associations and with the government to make this pilot a resounding success. This scheme must empower social housing tenants and meet our own ambitions to deliver the homes the country needs.”

This is the latest step by government to make the housing market more attainable, with opportunities available to realise the dream of home ownership whether you rent in the private or social sectors. Council housing tenants are already able to buy their home at a discount and since 2010 Right to Buy has helped almost 94,000 households

The government will assess the impact of the pilot before deciding on the next steps for this policy.

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