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‘Serious concerns’ over Right to Buy

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The former head of the civil service has joined criticism of the government’s Right to Buy scheme.

The Conservative government included plans to increase the scope of the Right to Buy scheme in the Queen’s Speech last month.

This will force housing associations to sell off their properties. An additional 1.3 million tenants will now be able to purchase their homes for a discounted rate, but the scheme has attracted criticism from those in the housing industry.

Lord Kerslake, former head of the civil service, has become the latest voice to add their concern.

“I will raise my serious concerns about the policy in its current form,” Kerslake told the Observer.

“I think it’s wrong in principle and wrong in practice, and it won’t help tackle the urgent need to build more housing and more affordable housing in this country, particularly in London.”

Before the general election the Conservative party said it would outline full plans within 100 days of taking office.

At present properties bought under Right to Buy are eligible for discounts of up to £104,000 in London and £77,000 elsewhere.

However, communities secretary Greg Clark stated last week that this will not lead to a fall in social housing.

“Where the flat is sold to the existing tenant it is not lost, it does not evaporate, and it is sold to someone that has means to pay for it, so then what is released in terms of the sale can then build an extra home – so it is adding to the housing stock,” he said.

“Every housing association property that is sold will be replaced one for one for a new property, so it is not only allowing people to meet their housing aspiration, but to increase the housing stock as well.”

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