Labour pledges to reform right-to-buy as part of UK housing overhaul

News / Fri 29th Dec 2023 at 08:42am

TENANTS who buy their own council home through England’s “Right to Buy” programme would see the discounts slashed to a fraction of the current rate under plans being drawn up by the Labour party. reports the Daily Telegraph.

Under the scheme, tenants in a council-owned property can buy it at a discount of up to 70 per cent of its market value, depending on the length of time they have lived there, up to a maximum of £96,000 in most of England and £127, 900 in London.

But the system gives social tenants an incentive to buy their property then “flip” it at a profit and it has been blamed for the loss of social housing in the UK.

Matthew Pennycook, shadow housing minister, said that if Labour were to win next year’s election — it is currently around 18 points ahead in the polls — it was likely to return the discounts to the level at which they stood before they were raised by Conservative ministers more than a decade ago.

“We are going to slash the discounts,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. “They’d get the discounts they got in 2012.”

Harlow Labour’s parliamentary candidate, Chris Vince backs the scheme.

Chris Vince said: “Unlike the current government, which has presided over the housing crisis, Labour are serious about ensuring everyone has a home.

The huge discounts in right to buy have led to the massive unmet need for council homes with council homes being sold at a rate local authorities can’t keep up with.

“Labour’s plans also include revising planning laws to ensure local communities have a greater say over local developers and putting pressure on developers to make good on their commitments”.

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9 Comments for Labour pledges to reform right-to-buy as part of UK housing overhaul:

gary roberts
2023-12-29 09:07:32

Another chance to abolish the right to buy in England and Labour bottle it again. Wales and Scotland have done it but with a lack of social and affordable council housing in England they play the Conservative game of "home ownership" leaving the over 5000 people on the waiting list to wait even longer for a council home. A bloody disgrace.

Luke Burton
2023-12-29 11:51:49

Tinkering around the edges. Build more housing AND build NEW public transport links (high-speed railways for intercity, light rail for local routes) to unlock more (brownfield) land. Let's face it - the jobs are in London and increasing the area in which you can get into The City within 1 hour is the key.

Richard Porter
2023-12-29 13:15:35

About time its had its day in destroying local social housing , many of the properties sold now turn up at treble council rents with no security of tenure to for the tenant , and has been reported many local authorities are in financial mire due to having to pay for temporary accommodation, at sky high prices , will Labour bottle it i hope not .

2023-12-29 15:48:54

There should be no right to buy. That's why we're in this mess, combined with no new coyncil housing built .

Kim Oconnor
2023-12-29 18:33:10

Quite right ,resident.

Dan Long
2023-12-29 18:54:42

Two faced or what when the second best prime minister ever,The iron lady brought this policy back in 1980, the left wing Labour party monsters, Mps, activities and supporters were the first to start campaigning about it, just like when she introduced the poll tax, which I do disagree with, it was the trouble making left wing Labour,supporters and activities who started to riot on parliament square and ever since the introduction of the poll tax now council tax, it is the Labour administration run council who have increased it the most,including the former Labour administration party of Harlow. Two faced comes to mind.

2023-12-30 11:52:06

My sister pays rent, around £380 per month for a flat some 60 years old which probably cost £1000 to build, around every 3 months her rent covers the capital cost. So where does the rent go? Some goes on safety checks and maintenance but how much actually goes to our shiny town hall, to the accounts staff, to the highly paid executives etc. Tenants should be given the opportunity to own their properties ie treat rent as a mortgage. When they die they have something to leave to their children and give them assistance (if the money hasn't gone to a care home). The former tenant still only occupies one home. I am making it sound very simplistic which I know it isn't but I do think most people have aspirations. Labour, in terms of this policy, at least from the YH article, don't seem to realize this. Right to buy was one of Margaret Thatcher's best policies. One of her worst was not allowing the money raised to be reinvested in new housing

2023-12-30 13:39:25

I tried to buy my flat.and was told it would not sell no due to housing shortage..not my fault been with council since 19 years of age with rents paid I could have owned 4 houses in the 60.s.No respect for their own people.non of them.

2023-12-31 22:41:48

Labour still can't think out of the box so tinker around the edges. Right to buy allowed normal people a step up where there was none. Allowed those who couldn't afford to put their kids through university where as before, so many could not. As to buy them cheap and flip for a profit, why not? The issue with right to buy is neither Conservative OR Labour could organise a heavy drinking session in a brewery. Houses are not expensive to build and even at the discounted rate it would cover the cost of a replacement. So why have Labour AND Conservative been unable to work out a rolling sell & build scheme? Sell 70 council places then the next year build 70. It's an incredibly simple scheme and you can set the numbers locally. This also means the council's own stock is regularly replaced with new builds. The reason Labour and Conservative are unable to work it out? They are both too busy fighting each other, rather than working together for the people of Harlow, a classic case being the Burnt Mill development.

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