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Right to Buy – Rod Cahill, Chief Executive

Rod_Cahill_007_29_04_2010_01_54_45_External_Use“We understand why some housing association tenants might be tempted by Right to Buy. Having completed on almost 500 new homes last year, we support people’s dream of home ownership, but Right to Buy is the wrong solution to the housing crisis. The failure of any government over the last 40 years to build enough homes has created the housing crisis and extending Right to Buy will only make things worse.

“A new government wanting to extend Right to Buy will have to introduce new primary legislation, and will almost certainly be challenged in the courts. The uncertainty of income as a result of Right to Buy will make it very hard for housing associations to raise private finance at the very low interest rates that the sector currently benefits from. If our borrowing costs rise, we will have to build fewer new homes.

“The amount of money that such a policy would raise has already been questioned by Savills, and it is also unclear where any replacement homes would be built.  Even with the proposed discount, hardly any housing association tenants in London would be able to afford to buy their home. Just 16% of public, too, think extending Right to Buy is good way to tackle the affordability crisis. This compares to 46% who want the Government to give more public money to housing associations and councils to build more affordable homes.

“For housing associations that – like Catalyst – specialise in regeneration of older estates, the proposed policy will present further difficulties.  If even a handful of residents exercise their Right to Buy, housing associations will face higher costs and excessive delays to buy these residents out of their homes, jeopardising the viability of those developments.  And all the time property prices will still be rising, as insufficient new homes are built – shutting more people and families out of living in a decent, secure and affordable home.”

Rod Cahill, Chief Executive.