Right to buy pledge will increase housing pressure

The Conservative pledge to re-introduce the Right To Buy for Housing Association tenants as highlighted in the Queen’s speech today could scupper plans for a much-needed expansion in public sector housing according to Simon Hay, CEO of the Brick Development Association.

“The government has stated that we need to build around 200,000 new houses each year to meet demand.  We desperately need our Housing Associations to be contributing to this total, but extending the Right to Buy will have a huge impact on the funding available for them to do so,” he outlines.”

“Investing in building new social housing, with a stable return of around 4-6% over the long term is a potentially an attractive investment proposition for organisations such as pension funds.  But this model is blown apart if the assets must be sold at below market rate on demand.”

“We really think this is one proposed policy whose consequence is likely to be exactly the opposite of what was intended:  its most likely consequence is to prevent rather than encourage the provision of much needed housing.”

“The focus should now be on how we deliver the housing promises outlined by the Conservative government, ensuring at least 200,000 new homes a year are started in the UK to meet the growing demand from increasing household creation and migration. With stock levels increasing and production rising, we are confident that the brick industry’s growing capacity will keep pace with demand.”

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