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MPs criticise the government Right to Buy extension plan


MPs have sharply criticised the governments plan to extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants which has proven to be a controversial matter.

A report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has questioned how the policy will be funded and asked whether proper replacement homes will be built.

The MPs have also stated that there was evidence that Right to Buy could increase overcrowding for those in housing need.

The government has said that they make no apology for encouraging home ownership.

The idea of the scheme proposed by the government is to allow Housing Association tenants to buy their own homes with discounts similar to those that are currently enjoyed by council tenants.

Members of the Public Accounts Commit Committee said there is a danger that increased discounts for Housing Association tenants would lead to greater fraud.

The Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Meg Hiller, said the approach to paying for the policy was entirely speculative.

"There are no costing’s or workings out. We are not talking about a 'back of an envelope' calculation - there is no envelope at all."

The Local Government Association and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has also criticised the policy, and it has been rejected by the governments of Wales and Scotland.

The extension of the Right to Buy is already being piloted in five areas across England and the government made known it will be funded by councils selling off their most valuable council houses.

The government stated that all council homes will be replaced. However, the MPs have concluded that the government’s commitment “will not ensure that these will be like-for like replacements”, as new homes can “be a different size in a different area, and be more expensive to rent”.

The MPs said such a target as replacing the home on a one-to-one basis would require a five-fold acceleration in housing starts.

The scheme is due to be rolled out across England later this year.

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