New pilot scheme starts in UK as part of Right to Buy scheme

Housing association tenants in some part of the UK can now move towards home ownership under new government plans to extend their right to buy.

They are the first in the country to be able apply to the new Voluntary Right to Buy scheme as part of a pilot that is being run by five housing associations ahead of a national rollout later this year.

It is part of a voluntary agreement between the government and the National Housing Federation to extend the Right to Buy to 1.3 million housing association tenants. Under the agreement, every home sold will be replaced nationally with a new affordable home.

The existing Right to Buy gives social housing tenants the opportunity to buy their home with a discount of £103,900 in London and £77,900 elsewhere.

‘Thanks to the historic voluntary agreement with the sector a further 1.3 million housing association tenants now have the chance to open the door to their own home, starting with this trailblazing pilot scheme,’ said Communities Secretary, Greg Clark.

He explained that the pilot will help inform the design and implementation of the main scheme before it is rolled out across the country following the passage of the Housing and Planning Bill. Applications for the pilot scheme are now open.

He added that the government is committed to getting a million more people into home ownership by 2020 and it has recently been announced that investment in housing is doubling to more than £20 billion over the next five years to support the largest housing programme by any government since the 1970s.