year's Budget statement included a proposal to reduce the
qualifying period for the Right to Buy from 5 to 3 years. This will
require an amendment to primary legislation, which has been
included in a draft
Bill published last month. The Bill committee has issued a call for
evidence with a deadline for responses of 16 September.
ARCH will be considering whether to submit evidence and if so,
what it should cover, since the terms of reference (available here) allow for
discussion of a wider range of reforms to the Right to Buy than
simply amendment of the qualifying period.
The LGA has indicated that it plans to use the opportunity to
argue for the changes to the right to buy detailed in its spending
round submission. These include:
- Giving councils the power to set discounts locally, to strike
the best local balance between incentivising sales and maximising
receipts for reinvestment.
- Extending the cost floor from 15 to 25 years to ensure that
councils building new homes are protected from selling them at a
- Allowing councils to reinvest 100% of receipts in new housing,
and giving them more flexibility in how they can be used.
ARCH members are asked to comment on how ARCH should respond,
either by posting a comment in the members area of the website or
by email to me.
However, the Government's summary of
consultation responses and announcement of next steps on Pay to
Stay makes it clear that it has not yet found Parliamentary time to
introduce a requirement on high-earning tenants to declare their
income, which is generally regarded as the essential underpinning
for Pay to Stay schemes where social landlords wish to introduce
In the meantime, revised rent guidance will make it clear that
councils may charge higher rents if they so decide. CLG plans to
consult on the revised guidance in due course.