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Pm Vowing To Boost 'right To Buy'

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BBC News: David Cameron in pledge to boost 'right to buy' scheme

2 October 2011 Last updated at 07:14

David Cameron is to pledge to boost the "right to buy" scheme established by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

He will announce proposals to increase discounts offered to tenants in England who want to buy their council house.

The original scheme was criticised for cutting the stock of social housing but the PM, who is in Manchester for the Tory conference, will say a new home should be built for every one sold.

The changes are expected to be included in a housing strategy later this year.

Market rent

Right to buy became an landmark housing policy for Baroness Thatcher's Conservative government in the 1980s.

BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins says it was heralded by the Tories as the foundation of a revolution in social mobility - and derided by its detractors as a drain on much needed social housing.

Labour never scrapped it but did cut the discounts offered to would-be home owners, which in turn reduced the number of sales. Mr Cameron is proposing to increase those discounts.

The government's aim is to build one new home - to be let at up to 80% of the market rent - for each property sold.

Brownfield sites

The Conservatives hope to rekindle the support for the original scheme, increase housebuilding and generate new jobs.

The policy, which could affect up to 2.3 million families in England, is understood to have been approved by senior Liberal Democrats.

But some among the Conservatives' coalition partners may doubt the government's ability to replace sold properties and be reluctant to associate themselves with one of Baroness Thatcher's most famous policies, says our correspondent.

Mr Cameron has also announced plans for the government to release thousands of acres of publicly owned brownfield land for housebuilding.

In an interview in the Sunday Times, he said: "The government owns huge amounts of land, mostly brownfield sites, previously developed, either out of use or being run down in some way.

"There's an enormous opportunity to build homes on those sites."

Under the plan, which aides said could support 200,000 jobs, developers would be able to pay for the land after building and selling properties on it - by-passing the need for developers to find money up front.

'Sustainable development'

And Mr Cameron said that the coalition's controversial plans to change planning laws were needed to boost economic growth. "The planning system needs reform, it really does," he said.

"When you have guidance that runs to thousands of pages it just become an enormous regulatory quagmire.

"It's also completely untrusting of local authorities. It's almost saying: 'Those idiots in town halls can't make decisions.' I think that's wrong."

The plans, which include a new "presumption in favour of sustainable development", have been criticised by groups including the National Trust who fear they will extend urban sprawl in England.

However, Mr Cameron said much that had been written about the plans had been "really quite misleading" and insisted that he was "an absolute lover of the British countryside".

The announcements come after Mr Cameron was criticised for not doing enough to promote economic growth by the Tory chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee, Andrew Tyrie.

Economic issues are expected to take centre stage at the conference - as was the case for Labour and the Liberal Democrats - and Mr Cameron, who will close the conference when he speaks on Wednesday, has insisted the government has an "incredibly active" growth strategy.

Foreign Secretary William Hague will be among the speakers on the conference's opening day on Sunday.

Where to begin...

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Selling social housing especially new build, at a discount price could be a good thing, but there should be 100% CGT on any gain after indexation when sold.

It would have to be the owners sole property, resided in by them, and not able to be let. etc,etc.

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Sounds like a clever way to bypass political objections to new house building.

And have the house building paid for by the proceeds of people buying their council houses. Could be quite neat if the sums add up.

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"The government's aim is to build one new home - to be let at up to 80% of the market rent - for each property sold."

To whom, exactly?

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I was really hoping that this tory party would be different.

It's not very often I feel jealous but a girl I know single mother 30 never done a day's work in her life has a council house in a nice village just across the road from the village cricket grounds. House is worth a lot more than mine. why do we bother to work?

She has married recently very hard working husband.

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I am confused, right to buy is for people who have a council tenancy first? Isn't this the gov just selling land on tic to the builders? So they are not building badly needed social housing for rental?

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House prices are currently higher than they should be. As such it will be possible to offer houses at a 'bargain discount' (which actually reflects true value) and existing council tenants will buy them.

This moves the responsibility of maintenance onto the owner (I hope!) so reduces council liabilities.

It also generates a lump sum to build a new house to provide the social housing we apparently need.

And it provides an opportunity for a bank to lend (I know, I know, but I'd rather lending was for this scenario than liar loans etc).

Isn't there quite a positive way of viewing this? Am I being niave? Must confess I know very little about how right-to-buy works currently.

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And have the house building paid for by the proceeds of people buying their council houses. Could be quite neat if the sums add up.

The same idea was put forward the first time round, IIRC. Didn't seem to work out that way in practice.

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If they can afford to buy it they don't need social housing, let someone more deserving live there

If 100% of the money they get from the sales gos towards building MORE new social housing on land already owned by the local authorities for the more deserving is that not a good idea? ;)

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House prices are currently higher than they should be. As such it will be possible to offer houses at a 'bargain discount' (which actually reflects true value) and existing council tenants will buy them.

This moves the responsibility of maintenance onto the owner (I hope!) so reduces council liabilities.

It also generates a lump sum to build a new house to provide the social housing we apparently need.

And it provides an opportunity for a bank to lend (I know, I know, but I'd rather lending was for this scenario than liar loans etc).

Isn't there quite a positive way of viewing this? Am I being niave? Must confess I know very little about how right-to-buy works currently.

I completely agree, although as a council tennant I am have a VI in this subject. If it means I can buy the property for a fair value then for me it is my own little HPC. Result.

If I cant buy the property at the current market value then I will just continue to rent it. Better the council realise some capital and are able to sell the property so another family can benefiit from a newly built home.

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It is a shame that Mrs. Thatch didn't replace the sold houses with rented ones when she introduced RTB in 1980. But then again she wanted to wipe out as much of the Labour electorate as possible and re-engineer society.

"The government's aim is to build one new home - to be let at up to 80% of the market rent - for each property sold."

To whom, exactly?

Quite possibly rented out to peeps like me who are in not so well paid jobs but have no hope of a council home? :unsure: I currently rent a flat on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, landlord a Housing Association but I pay slightly less than the going market rates.

The 80% market rate homes seems like a good idea to me but why not just build these types of homes, plus continue building the (very small amount of) cheaper affordable rented homes for the more finacially disadvantaged and abolish RTB altogether? :unsure:

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IIRC, one of the problems (or advantages, depending on your politics) was that right-to-buy increased "ghettoisation". Nicer houses in nicer locations were sold to, er, "nicer" people (defined as those in regular employment with an interest in controlling and organising their own housing rather than calling out the council for every broken pane of glass) leaving the social no-hopers / feral chavs with the grottier stuff.

The only difference this time is that the established "good" estates have already gone, and the current emphasis on housing the neediest, irrespective of any requirements of responsibility or good behaviour, means that people who could buy, won't - in case the council moves the family from hell in next door. This was much less of a problem back in the 1980s.

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Not much social housing left in local authority hands in many parts of the UK so one assumes that the government must be considering forcing Housing Associations to sell at a discount. One assumes the government will also have to reverse the cuts in these organisations funding otherwise they will be forced to fold

This is really just a warmed over policy from the 1980s. not a serious attempt to boost the economy. Moreover unlike the Thatcher era the nature of social housing has changed with far fewer tenants in an economic position to buy even at a discount. If Cameron wants a radical solution he could have just built more Council houses without these gimmicks. All this proposal is offering is a tax payer subsidised handout to a few lucky tenants with access to the cash to buy.

Of course, Cameron is perpetuating the established view that housing along with finance IS the British economy ( ie there is no wider industrial policy). He believes that if he can rekick the property market then everything will be fixed. The sad reality is that is the British obsession with housing that got us into the mess in the first place.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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The only difference this time is that the established "good" estates have already gone, and the current emphasis on housing the neediest, irrespective of any requirements of responsibility or good behaviour, means that people who could buy, won't - in case the council moves the family from hell in next door. This was much less of a problem back in the 1980s.

If he's clever, there's an opportunity for the new housing built to be rented to people on the basis that they do fulfil some responsibilities. Much easier to rent a new house to a new tenant on new terms than impose new terms (however sensible) on an existing tenant.

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To buy any property you require a job, so only those who can show they can afford to make payment would be able to buy....the people who get the opportunity to buy must be long term tenants an existing part of the community......many of the best homes were sold off many years ago...many of the high rise flat type accommodation did not sell a) because it wasn't worth buying at any price and B) it wasn't something you could get a loan against.

Going back to how council housing was allocated years ago....it was for the low paid workers the people that were the backbone of the community doing the jobs that we all benefit from. ;)

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If he's clever, there's an opportunity for the new housing built to be rented to people on the basis that they do fulfil some responsibilities. Much easier to rent a new house to a new tenant on new terms than impose new terms (however sensible) on an existing tenant.

If you look at current Council and Housing Association Tenancy agreements they are already full of requirements and obligations for tenants. The issue is enforcement which this change would do nothing to address.

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Not much social housing left in local authority hands in many parts of the UK so one assumes that the government must be considering forcing Housing Associations to sell at a discount. One assumes the government will also have to reverse the cuts in these organisations funding otherwise they will be forced to fold

This is really just a warmed over policy from the 1980s. not a serious attempt to boost the economy. Moreover unlike the Thatcher era the nature of social housing has changed with far fewer tenants in an economic position to buy even at a discount. If Cameron wants a radical solution he could have just built more Council houses without these gimmicks. All this proposal is offering is a tax payer subsidised handout to a few lucky tenants with access to the cash to buy.

Of course, Cameron is perpetuating the established view that housing along with finance IS the British economy ( ie there is no wider industrial policy). He believes that if he can rekick the property market then everything will be fixed. The sad reality is that is the British obsession with housing that got us into the mess in the first place.

all any party in the UK understands is that the way to get GDP growth is mortgage debt via the private sector (sod investment in productivity when you can have investment in state mandated monopoly and subsidy should be written in bold font across the base of the Union Jack and the CBI can use it as a motto, this was the tory method of reducing govt debt by moving into the private sector in the 80s (along with the start of banking deregulation). Labour continued the practice, the tories understand thy simply wont get growth without the private sector taking on debt, its carrying on the economic mantra of the last 30 years and some people in council homes are probably still in relatively good nick as far as not being indebted up to the eyeballs, this gives the incentive to get that private debt expanding some more.

Both thatcher and Brown would be proud of this sort of policy, it carries on in the long british tradition of subsidy and economic destruction as the subsidy is once again passed on to the popn as a whole to pay making investment in monopoly/subsidy the only game in town in the UK

Edited by Tamara De Lempicka

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It is a shame that Mrs. Thatch didn't replace the sold houses with rented ones when she introduced RTB in 1980. But then again she wanted to wipe out as much of the Labour electorate as possible and re-engineer society.

Quite possibly rented out to peeps like me who are in not so well paid jobs but have no hope of a council home? :unsure: I currently rent a flat on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, landlord a Housing Association but I pay slightly less than the going market rates.

The 80% market rate homes seems like a good idea to me but why not just build these types of homes, plus continue building the (very small amount of) cheaper affordable rented homes for the more finacially disadvantaged and abolish RTB altogether? :unsure:

Yes and how much we were in need of DR Who in those days

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all any party in the UK understands is that the way to get GDP growth is mortgage debt via the private sector (sod investment in productivity when you can have investment in state mandated monopoly and subsidy should be written in bold font across the base of the Union Jack and the CBI can use it as a motto, this was the tory method of reducing govt debt by moving into the private sector in the 80s (along with the start of banking deregulation). Labour continued the practice, the tories understand thy simply wont get growth without the private sector taking on debt, its carrying on the economic mantra of the last 30 years and some people in council homes are probably still in relatively good nick as far as not being indebted up to the eyeballs, this gives the incentive to get that private debt expanding some more.

Both thatcher and Brown would be proud of this sort of policy, it carries on in the long british tradition of subsidy and economic destruction as the subsidy is once again passed on to the popn as a whole to pay making investment in monopoly/subsidy the only game in town in the UK

Agree.

It is just more of the same policy of solving debt with debt.

The Tory delusion is that private debt is somehow different to public debt when the events of 2008 clearly show that they are inextricably linked. Both classes of debt have to be paid out of real productive growth not manipulation of the market for a single asset class. Houses without jobs to supply the income to pay back the money used to build them won't fix the British economy. Nor does the mantra of home ownership guarantee a functioning economy. Cameron is following in the footsteps of the 1950s UK governments who made the mistake of using the Marshall Aid loans from the US on a property boom not factories,an error the Germans avoided.

The problem this time is that the money and the luck really has run out

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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  • 276 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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