Will Boris’s Right to Buy undermine Harlow Tories council house building plans?

News / Sat 11th Jun 2022 am30 10:12am

OVER the last few years, YH has reported on new council housing for Harlow.

In 2017, there was Fesants Croft. In a few weeks time there will be the unveiling of housing at Bushey Croft and we have just seen the plans for the old Lister House site on Perry Road.

However, over in Westminster, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been championing the cause of Right To Buy.

Right To Buy has been, since the time of Margaret Thatcher, a fundamental part of Conservative thinking, freeing the people from the shackles of socialism (see 1983 and 1987 General Elections for details).

However, with plans for council housing in Harlow a fundamental part of the ideology of the Conservative-led administration at Harlow Council, are the two ideas diametrically opposed.

That is to say, is there a way, that all the new council housing stock in Harlow could end up in private hands?

So we asked Harlow Council.

A Harlow Council spokesperson said:

“The council must follow the national rules for Right to Buy. These rules are explained on our website www.harlow.gov.uk and the national Right to Buy website https://www.ownyourhome.gov.uk/scheme/right-to-buy/.  

Most council homes can be bought under Right to Buy, and this includes newly built council homes. Homes which cannot be bought under Right to Buy include supported housing, temporary housing, and homes specifically for people with disabilities. 

“To be eligible for Right to Buy tenants must have a secure tenancy and had a tenancy with a public sector landlord for 3 years – it does not have to be 3 years in a row. For those who have been a public sector tenant between 3 and 5 years the discount on a house is 35% and on a flat is 50%. After 5 years, the discount on a house goes up by 1% for every extra year and on a flat the discount goes up 2% for every extra year. For both houses and flats the maximum discount is 70% or £87,200 whichever is lower. There is an application process for purchasing a home under Right to Buy.

“Homes can be sold after buying through Right to Buy however if the home is sold within 5 years of buying it some or all of the discount will need to be paid back. All of the discount has to be paid back if the home is sold within the first year and the amount, which needs to be paid back reduces year by year up to the fifth year. The amount needed to be paid back depends on the value of the home when it is sold.

“If the home is sold within 10 years it must be offered first to either the council or another social landlord in the area.”

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9 Comments for Will Boris’s Right to Buy undermine Harlow Tories council house building plans?:

James Leppard
2022-06-11 10:24:42

I fail to see the purpose of this article. Harlow Conservative administration is committed to building Council homes for Harlow residents after almost none were built during a decade of Labour administration. The Government has said nothing that will alter the existing national laws regarding the Right to Buy.

2022-06-11 11:20:26

The UK housing situation is an artificial hothouse designed to maximize profits for the property developers. The right to buy just adds more people to the slavery of mortgages and represents an abdication of the state to ensure housing is low cost and good quality. In times past in.other countries, most people rented at low cost and they could never see the point of buying. House ownership makes a few people extremely rich. Once us peasants have paid for said homes then many are forced to sell them to pay for a reasonable retirement because Pensions are so poor. Private profit for the few is put ahead of decent low rent housing for the many.

2022-06-11 13:49:18

Most of the landlords these days are pension companies. Got to be careful what we wish for as everything is connected. The only way to truly sort our problems is through working together and understanding. It is a real simple idea that nobody seems to be able to grasp because our inbuilt fear and paranoia of each other.

Kim Oconnor
2022-06-11 18:37:58

Norstradamus you are spot on. But ill just add, my mother in law said to her only son for years, when I'm gone, sell the house , your be comfortable. When she died all the house money went to keep her in a decent home. She worked all her life to leave him the house, but every penny went on the home. What's it all about, Because theses privately owned homes are robbing our elderly. I think the new council houses should be with a no right to buy. For future generations, and for the 5OOO people in Harlow waiting on homes.

2022-06-12 09:27:13

The Theman, if we run things based on Pension funds options to invest then they could invest in green industries and infrastructure to combat climate change. Currently investment is basically like a global bookmaker or casino, a gambling game and the ethics of the stock markets are non existent. The slave trade is still exists (disguised in less obvious forms of shackling human beings by various other means) & so big investors and business carry on exploiting people. It's why the world is in such a mess. Global trade and business is a race to the bottom funding injustice, dictators and driving poverty and starvation. It don't have to be that way.

Gillian Stevens
2022-06-12 10:08:18

This did not work before , and left a lot of properties in the hands of private landlords. Social housing is the answer. BORIS get out of jail card. What next giving all the Tory councillors and MP a larger rise than they already get.

David Forman
2022-06-12 15:23:16

Good points from Nostradamus but he/she might like to add selling the home you own to pay for social care that was long ago taken care of in local authority elderly persons homes

David Forman
2022-06-12 15:41:05

Interestingly, once you have sold your home to pay for adult social care you can look forward to poor care as a result of privatisation. The evidence for this is from the Centre for Health and the Public Interest document "The failure of privatised adult social care in England: what is to be done?" published November 2016. Key quote from page 4 of the Executive Summary: "Both the quality of care in adult social care and the terms and conditions of the workforce have declined over the past two decades as a result of privatisation. The report also shows that turnover rates are higher, and rates of pay considerably lower, in the private care sector than in the public sector. In addition, 41% of community-based adult social care services, hospice services and residential social care services inspected by the Care Quality Commission since October 2014 were found to be inadequate or requiring improvement..

2022-06-13 09:40:33

David Forman is correct. Thatcher tried to end the social class divide by making the working class property owners and therefore middle class. However, this came with the caveat that she took social care for the elderly out of the NHS umbrella and privatised it. This meant that after 25 years of paying your mortgage off and lining the banks and exchequer pockets in the process, you may get a few years in your private house before you are unfortunate to have to go into care and the local county council will take the sale proceeds of the house to pay for your care. Or if you are fortunate enough to not go into care, the exchequer will still take a large cut through inheritance tax.

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