The Conservative Party has pledged “to fix the broken housing market” with a new Right to Buy policy for tenants of councils and housing associations.
Prime minister Theresa May said at the weekend she wanted “ambitious councils and housing associations to build a new generation of council homes right across the country”.
The still-sketchy plans would see government money going direct to councils and housing associations and new compulsory purchase powers for local authorities to assemble brownfield land for house building.
Although not clear yet, it is understood councils and housing associations would be granted extra borrowing powers, plus some of the £1.4bn of unallocated affordable housing grant that was revealed in the last Autumn Statement.
May said: “Giving tenants a new right to buy these homes when they go on the market will help thousands of people get on the first rung of the housing ladder, and fixed terms will make sure money is reinvested so we have a constant supply of new homes for social rent.”
Rules restricting councils to purchasing land at “market value” will be swept away. New homes built could be bought by tenants after 10 to 15 years, with the proceeds reinvested in new social housing.
It’s believed that the Conservatives hope smaller developers offering prefab homes will be tempted into the market.