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Political leader slams Right To Buy as “slum landlord charter”

The Green Party’s co-leader Carla Denyer has branded the government’s Right To Buy scheme as a “slum landlord’s charter”. 

Denyer made the claim on the BBC One Politics Live TV show saying: “Green politicians and most of the public have known for a long time … that Right to Buy is a slum landlord’s charter.”

Referring to another BBC TV programme on the subject, she told viewers: “A significant proportion of former council homes in London as the documentary showed are now private rented and often in very poor quality. And that’s why the Greens think that Right to Buy has to go.

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“One of the many problems with Right to Buy is that it reduces the amount of social housing in this country. It’s much lower than it used to be. And partly that’s because councils do not receive enough funding to either build new or buy new council houses to make up for the ones that are sold off. It is reducing social housing by stealth by the Conservatives, and I’m actually quite disappointed to hear that Labour support it as well.”

Under the existing Right To Buy policy in England tenants living in council houses can get a discount of up to 70 per cent of the market price, depending on how long they have lived there. The maximum discount is £87,200, or £116,200 in London. 

There is already a significantly less generous scheme for renters of housing association properties, with discounts of up to £16,000.

Some 1.6m council homes have been sold off under Right To Buy, first introduced by then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the early 1980s. 

While this policy helped owner-occupation rise from 55 per cent in 1979 to 72 per cent in 2004 (since when it has generally dipped) the policy has also been blamed for a sharp decline in social housing availability. Scotland and Wales have scrapped Right To Buy in recent years.

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    I hate to agree with the Greens - but they are correct - Right to Buy is a disaster for the social housing sector. One individual hits the jackpot - and if they can afford to buy why are they in social housing anyway - but it is a loss of a housing unit for generations that follow & it takes money out of the sector.

    It needs to go!

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    It was only ever council tenants that had the right to buy with a discount, then when their house was repossessed due to mortgage arears were landlords able to buy them, these ''slum'' houses must have been slums when the council still owned them, we all know what social housing estates look like, even the new build ones very soon become slums, that's by the nature of the people that live in them now

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    I think many bought their house at a huge discount & then sold it a few years later making a huge profit. Only then did Los get their hands on them.

     
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    When I did my Right to Buy in the 1980s the house needed gutting as it had dry rot throughout. The windows were the old single glazed sash type and were all rotten. The kitchen was falling apart. There were very few electric sockets. I fully renovated it, lived in it for a while and then sold it.

    My son bought an ex Council house that was virtually derelict, did it up and sold it on as a nice modernized family home.

    Two of my flats are ex Council and getting them to do exterior repairs is challenging.

    So at least separate any statistics into freehold and leasehold.

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