Right-to-buy discount increased

Council houses will be available to buy at a discount of 70% this year, the Government has announced, while pledging to invest the proceeds in new properties.
 
  • Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has announced an increase in the discount for the right-to-buy scheme.
    Last updated: 03 January 2014, 10:36 GMT

    Council houses will be available to buy at a discount of 70% this year, the Government has announced, while pledging to invest the proceeds in new properties.

    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said a £75,000 cap on the cash value of the discount would also begin increasing in line with the CPI rate of inflation in a bid to revitalise the right to buy scheme.

    Labour said the Government was failing on its promise to replace each and every home sold under right to buy and reiterated the party's pledge to build 200,000 homes if it wins power in 2015.

    Mr Pickles said increasing the discount on houses from 60% to 70% of the full market price would drive aspiration and allow an acceleration in the rate Government delivers new affordable homes.

    The discount now matches that available on flats.

    He said: "For years the Right to Buy was slowly strangled, with a miserly cap on discounts killing the prospect of home ownership for most social tenants.

    "We don't think governments should be in the business of vetoing aspiration."

    A department spokesman said legislative changes were needed to bring in the increased discount before May.

    Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said: "The Tory-led Government has failed to build the homes our country needs. Housebuilding is at its lowest peacetime level since the 1920s, contributing to the cost-of-living crisis families face.

    "David Cameron has also broken his promise to replace every home sold through right to buy with another built. Only one home has been built for every seven homes sold."

    The changes come into affect at the beginning of the new tax year in April and Mr Pickles said there would be a £100 million fund to boost access to mortgages and provide right to buy "agents" to help people through the process.

    The Department for Communities and Local Government said 50,000 household had got onto the housing ladder since 2011, including 13,400 via the right to buy scheme.

    The 50,000 figure represents the total of new property owner households aided by the Government, not the whole housing market. It also includes 36,000 assisted on to the property ladder through the Help to Buy and earlier schemes.

    Last updated: 03 January 2014, 10:36 GMT

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