The policy of extending Right to Buy discounts to tenants of housing associations, funded by the sale of high-value council housing, has potentially significant impacts for both local authorities and tenants of social housing, especially in areas where house prices are high. Despite the implications and complexity of this policy, the Department has not published a detailed impact assessment to inform Parliament’s consideration of its legislative proposals. Many key policy details have not been clarified, with the Department offering only vague assurances as to how this policy will be funded, without producing any figures to demonstrate that additional funding from central or local government will not be required. Other concerns remain, including the extent to which the new homes funded by this policy will be genuine replacements for those sold, and whether there will be sufficient controls to prevent abuse of the scheme given the significant discounts proposed for housing association tenants wishing to buy.
Prepared 26 April 2016