First Right-to-buy purchase under extended discount

A Hammersmith couple have become the first people in the borough to buy their home with a £75,000 Right to Buy extended discount.

The couple have taken advantage of the scheme to purchase their former council flat in Standish House, St Peter’s Grove. They had earlier become the first people in the country to apply to buy their home through the revamped Right-to-buy scheme. The Government has recently increased the maximum discount that council tenants can receive if they wish to buy their own home from £16,000 to £75,000.

LB Hammersmith & Fulham say the change has seem a surge of interest in the Borough with over 700 people attending the council’s Right to Buy roadshows and more than 300 people applying for the scheme.

Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing, said: “This borough has the fourth most expensive housing in the country which means that many honest, hard-working people are unable to get onto the property ladder without a kick-start.

“The extended Right to Buy discount means that homeownership has now become a viable proposition for hundreds, if not thousands of our tenants. There is absolutely no doubt that owning your own home gives you a sense of pride and a sense of empowerment.

“Hammersmith & Fulham is a borough of housing opportunity with home ownership at its core and it is always fantastic to see young people able to make that all-important first step onto the housing ladder.”

Right to Buy has helped thousands of council tenants in H&F to buy their own home since it launched over 30 years ago, but completions under the scheme all but collapsed when the maximum discount in the capital was reduced in 2004 from £38,000 to £16,000. The move led to a slump from 245 Right to Buy sales in 2004/2005 to only seven in H&F last year.

To qualify, residents must meet certain criteria. For example the tenant must have been living in the property for at least five years. The property must also be the tenant’s only or principal home.

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