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Housing Associations: Right to Buy

Volume 714: debated on Monday 16 May 2022

The Government remain committed to the right to buy and to spreading the dream of home ownership to even more people. The midlands pilots for the voluntary right to buy were completed in 2021. An independent evaluation was published; we are reviewing the findings and will announce further details in due course.

There is a desperate shortage of social housing in this country; more than 1 million households are waiting for social homes. However, rather than taking the decisive action that is needed to get to grips with this housing crisis, Ministers have threatened to jettison their manifesto commitment to building 300,000 affordable homes a year, refuse to commit themselves to building the council housing that we so desperately need, and are openly considering extending the right to buy to housing association properties. Will the Minister concede that an extension of the right to buy scheme will make the housing shortage much worse, will cause continued misery for many millions, and will deal a grievous blow to the hopes of thousands of my constituents who just want somewhere that they can call home?

I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman is completely wrong. We have a very ambitious affordable homes programme. More than £11 billion is being spent on a range of different options. We are also introducing an infrastructure levy that makes as many, if not more, contributions to the delivery of affordable homes. I do not understand why the hon. Gentleman has a problem with giving people in social housing the opportunity to become homeowners. I have to tell him that on the council estate where I grew up, it made a real, transformational difference to the social mobility of the families who were able to enjoy that great policy.