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The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.


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CIH report says up to 7,000 council homes could be sold to fund RTB extension 16/10/2015

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has published an analysis of the impact of the extension of Right to Buy (RTB) to housing associations and the sale of high value stock.


Read the full report.


The report claims almost 7,000 council homes a year could be lost when RTB is extended to housing associations in England if no extra funding is provided.


The RTB policy was unveiled in the Conservative Party's manifesto and was included in the government's new Housing and Planning Bill published on Tuesday 13 October 2015. The Bill also includes new legislation on the sale of vacant high-value council homes - Ministers have previously said that the cash generated would be used to replace both the housing association and council homes sold and also to set up a new £1 billion brownfield regeneration fund (see notes to editors, 2).


However, analysis from The CIH shows that local authorities could be left with no money to replace the homes they are forced to sell to fund the policy.


The research indicates that: 

  • between 2,100 and 6,800 'high-value' council homes are likely to become empty and be sold each year - compared to the government's estimate of 15,000
  • those sales would generate between £1.2 billion and £2.2 billion a year - compared to the government's estimate of £4.5 billion
  • around 1.45 million housing association tenants would be eligible for right to buy during the first five years of the policy, with around ten per cent (145,000) likely to take advantage
  • £1.2 billion would be around half the amount needed to compensate housing associations for homes sold under the scheme - housing associations would need almost all of the higher £2.2 billion estimate, leaving virtually nothing for councils to replace the homes they have sold or for the brownfield regeneration fund.


Read the full report.


The CIH said the government should consider other options to close the RTB funding gap, for example by offering smaller discounts than those currently proposed or increasing the qualifying period from three to five years. The CIH has also echoed ARCH's call for full consultations on the details of the two measures (the sale of high-value council homes and the sale of housing association homes), how they will interact and their implications for housing supply.

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