Duncan Lewis

Legal Aid

Lawyers London

Right to buy scheme not taking off despite government’s efforts says critics

Date: (21 August 2012)    |    

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Right to buy scheme which was planned to bring in more first time buyers into the housing ladder by giving huge discounts has not been attracting many takers if the schemes affectability in Welwyn Hatfield could be taken into consideration.

It has been found that only six homes were sold in the last quarter under the scheme in Welwyn Hatfield with only £500,000 realised for the six properties sold. The homes sold included two three bedroom houses and four flats.

The figures have been all the more disappointing because MP for Welwyn Hatfield Grant Shapps also the housing minister, at the helm of affairs to revamp the Right to Buy initiative and the disappointment was right at his own backyard.
It was with the paucity of sales in mind that Mr Shapps insisted the Government’s new Right to Buy scheme, which gives buyers a discount of up to £75,000, was a long overdue fillip in the system.
Asked about the figures for the first quarter of 2012/2013, as detailed in the latest agenda for Welwyn Hatfield Council’s cabinet housing and planning panel, Mr Shapps told that it was the reason why the government was bringing in the new Right to Buy with the new £75,000 discount.
These figures were from before the new Right to Buy came into being.
But he refused to be drawn on what impact he thought the new system would have.
He added that it was now in place or about to be and no-one knew what level sales would be.
But the idea was attacked by Welwyn Hatfield Council’s Labour leader Kieran Thorpe, who is himself a council tenant.
He said he would not judge Right to Buy on the numbers of homes sold off because the clear aim of the policy, as it was in the ’80s, to privatise council housing and make more of the poorest in the society pay more for a roof over their head.
The claim was that Right to Buy was to enable families with aspirations to buy their own home because these people were not in a position to find another way in which to do so.
He said that it was an admission of the government that its policy on affordable housing had utterly failed to deliver.
He added he was looking forward to the housing minister explain to local residents, who have spent years on waiting lists, when building will commence of the replacements of these former public assets that have been sold off.