Stonewater responds to Right to Buy extension to housing associations

The government has today confirmed its plans to extend the Right to Buy their home to all housing association tenants in England.

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Commenting on the announcement, Nicholas Harris, Chief Executive at Stonewater, said:

“We have recent experience from the pilot of this Right to Buy extension in the Midlands. This showed that giving customers the opportunity to buy the home they have invested in, both financially and emotionally, can be hugely positive. But I’m not without reservations on this latest plan. We are in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis with people facing a choice between heating or eating. Extending the Right to Buy will diminish the supply of affordable homes available to hard-pressed families. I question whether this policy is the right use of scarce resources at this time when it won’t provide additional homes for the people that need them most.

“It is encouraging to hear the government commitment today that homes sold will be replaced like-for-like. In the Midlands pilot, we were able to replace homes 1:1.65. But this relied on us using Stonewater resources to build modern, affordable homes and not necessarily where they were sold. Without sufficient government funding it will be virtually impossible to build replacements and increase the overall supply of affordable homes as needed.

“The world has moved on from the days when home ownership was the panacea to all housing ills. We need to look beyond that and truly understand what housing security looks like for today’s generation – and those of the future. Let’s be more innovative about how we can use housing to best help people achieve their goals and dreams.”