Right to buy 2.0Published Fri 6 Jan 2012
In 1980, Margaret Thatcher's government gave council tenants the right to buy their homes. This policy transformed the lives of some of the least affluent in society, helping two million Britons become homeowners for the first time. However, the current rules mean many housing association tenants who are willing and able to buy their home are not allowed to do so. A million housing association tenants do not have the right to buy, while the last government's restriction of right to buy discounts also made it more difficult for council tenants to buy their home this way.
Preventing social tenants from owning their home ties up billions of pounds of public funds that could be better used to help people onto the housing ladder. Reinvigorating and extending the right to buy would not only incr ease home ownership: by using all the funds raised to build new homes, the policy would lift the most vulnerable households in Britain off waiting lists, out of temporary accommodation and into a place they can call home.