Government relaxes Right to Buy rules

Councils will have longer to spend the money generated by Right to Buy sales under new measures announced by the government.

The new measures will come into force on 1 April and include giving local authorities five years, instead of the current three, to spend Right to Buy receipts.

The government has also increased cap on the percentage cost of new homes councils can fund from Right to Buy receipts raised from 30% to 40% per home.

And it will allow receipts to be used for shared ownership, First Homes, as well as affordable and social housing.

Ministers will also introducing a cap on the use of Right to Buy receipts for acquisitions to help drive new supply, which will be introduced from 1 April 2022, on a phased basis.

‘I have listened to local authorities who responded to our consultation on the use of Right to Buy receipts and I am delighted to announce a package of reforms providing authorities with the flexibilities they need to develop ambitious build programmes and help get people on the housing ladder,’ said housing secretary, Robert Jenrick.

Organisations like the Local Government Association (LGA) have long campaigned for a change to the Right to Buy rules.
LGA chairman, Cllr James Jamieson said he was pleased the government had engaged with them and acted on councils’ concerns.

‘Extending the time limit for spending Right to Buy receipts and increasing the proportion of a new home that councils can fund using receipts will boost councils’ ability to build desperately-needed affordable housing for local communities,’ said Cllr Jamieson.

‘We now look forward to working with government to implement these reforms and it is good it will work through any specific local challenges some councils may face as a result of the acquisitions cap.’


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