LBHF looks for more flex in right-to-buy

Thousands of council tenants might be able to purchase a share of their home if the Government modified the Right to Buy scheme, argues Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Earlier this year, the Government increased the maximum discount a tenant could receive on the price of their home under right-to-buy from £16,000 to £75,000.

The council says the move led to unprecedented interest in the scheme with more than 310 applications received and a flurry of completions expected within the next few months.

However, with property prices in H&F the fourth highest in the country, purchasing their own council home is still out of reach for thousands of our tenants, even with a £75,000 discount.

The council is calling on the Government to introduce ‘Right to Buy Part’, where tenants would be allowed to purchase a percentage of the property and receive a proportionate discount. The tenant would then pay the council rent for the part of the home they do not own.

Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing, said: “We are delighted that the Government has revamped Right to Buy but for the scheme to really take-off in London, where property prices are so high, further incentives are needed.

“Right to Buy Part could see thousands of people able to fulfill their dreams of purchasing a stake in their future but it will only happen if the regulations are removed. If we are really serious about helping our tenants become homeowners we need the Government to strike while the iron is hot and amend the regulations to make it clear councils have the power to do this.”

LB H&F says their Home Buy team will have helped 1,000 low and middle income earners into home ownership byb next year. It has also sold 18 properties through its ‘Right to Freehold’ scheme, with a further 5 in the pipeline, and is now building its own houses for the first time in 30 years.

Cllr Johnson will speak about his views on housing provision and delivery at Place West London on October 23. Join around 300 delegates from public & private sector – book now!

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