“We will back the British people for as long as it takes”, said Boris Johnson yesterday in a speech to try and restore some confidence in his government. The prime minister plans to do that first through housing reforms – a mortgage review, and the reintroduction of the Right to Buy. With the latter, tenants living in housing associations’ properties will be able to buy them at a discounted price, like people did with council houses under Margaret Thatcher.
Johnson has promised a “one-for-one replacement” of each social housing property sold. But given the slow rate at which new homes are getting built, it is hard to believe him.
When Johnson first played with the idea at the beginning of May, Rachael Williamson of the Chartered Institute for Housing defined it a “very-high risk strategy” that could lead to a decrease in the number of affordable homes. That still rings true today.