[Re: Johnson unveils series of housing reforms to increase home ownership, June 9]
Boris Johnson announced new policies to support home ownership on Thursday including a Right to Buy (RTB) scheme enabling housing association tenants to purchase their home.
I strongly agree that it is wrong that so many households are precluded from the benefits of home ownership. However, it is important not to conflate Right to Buy with a solution to the affordable housing crisis.
Without a commitment to reprovide and boost supply, Johnson’s policy will make addressing the affordability crisis all the more difficult. This is because the policy makes no provision for ensuring the affordability of homes in perpetuity. New homeowners are free to sell Right to Buy homes at prevailing market values.
An average of 35,500 net additional affordable homes, allowing for Right to Buy, have been delivered over the last 10 years, according to Turley’s recent research for the Land Promoters and Developers Federation. This is less than one quarter of the 145,000 affordable homes needed annually.
For this policy to work, the government needs to introduce planning policy changes that support boosting supply. Those complementary policies were absent from Thursday’s announcements.
It is imperative that they are included in the updates to national planning policy that are anticipated in July.