The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced plans to extend the right to buy to millions of people who rent from housing associations.
In a speech this week, Mr Johnson said that he wants 2.5 million people who rent housing association properties to have the chance to buy their homes at a discount.
The government, under Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, first introduced The Right to Buy scheme in the Housing Act 1980.
The government changed the scheme rules in 2005. Tenants who bought their property could no longer sell it on the open market immediately after buying it, it also required tenants to have lived in their property for more than five years before they qualified for the Right to Buy scheme.
Under the current right to buy policy, tenants of council-owned properties can purchase the property at a discount of up to 70 per cent of the market price, depending on how long they have lived there.
While there is a similar scheme for renters of housing association properties, it is less generous with a discount of between £9,000 and £16,000.
Housing Associations are charities set up to help those that don’t qualify for a council house but who can’t afford to rent privately. Critics have questioned whether there would be much demand therefore as prices may still be too high for tenants.
There is also the question of whether removing social housing stock at a time of a cost of living crisis is a good idea.
The National Housing Federation say that, based on their recent research, 4.2 million people are in need social housing in England.
When, in 2015, former Prime Minister, David Cameron tried to extend right to buy scheme to housing association tenants, ministers carried out a £200 million feasibility study. However the government’s agreement with the National Housing Federation that they would replace the sold-off housing stock, proved impossible to achieve and they abandoned the plan.