Voluntary Right to Buy
We are conducting a campaign, supported by Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, to challenge the voluntary Right to Buy.
- In April 2016, we obtained an opinion on the voluntary Right to Buy from Kevin Rutledge QC and Ashley Bowes of Cornerstone Barristers. This was well received by the sector, as it clarified several important points. Many decision makers in the housing sector have viewed the opinion. It is now freely available on this site.
- The campaign was launched at the CIH Housing Conference in Manchester in June 2016, where we engaged with housing associations and other stakeholders. It soon became apparent that most of our target audience of housing associations, were in wait-and-see mode. Although the National Housing Federation was already pushing ahead with policy development, associations did not have to take any immediate action or make any awkward decisions in the short term. That is still the position at the time of writing (February 2017), with Government proposing a large-scale regional pilot, details of which are still awaited.
- After Theresa May’s new Government took office in July 2016, we requested by means of an open letter to the Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell MP, that Government should formally consult on the policy. Our request has been turned down. Debate is being stifled. The National Housing Federation is not in a position to consider the policy objectively, because it is committed to delivering Right to Buy for Government.
- We have criticised the policy itself, in terms of both its inception and its implementation. We have published a comprehensive article entitled ‘Right to Buy – A Plain Bad Policy’. This demonstrates that the policy was included in the 2015 Conservative manifesto for reasons of Conservative ideology and political expediency. It also highlights the mistakes that the Government is making in implementation of the policy, and the likelihood that serious blunders are in the offing.
- It will take objective political will to ease the housing crisis. Because of deep-seated Conservative ideology on Right to Buy and home ownership generally, the present Government is unable to develop and sustain the right policies. Political leaders who have an objective vision for housing are the only people who can change things. To this end, we hope that the Mayor of London and his counterparts in other city regions and regional authorities will publish their own Housing White Papers and show how it should be done.
- We have redesigned our website to better focus on our campaigning on Right to Buy. We are especially fortunate to be able to use brilliant photos of London life by Nico Hogg.