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The Housing Forum is acutely aware of the vital role that council homes can play in meeting housing needs. Ending the Right to Buy altogether would be the best way of safeguarding the social housing stock to be allocated to those who need it most. Nevertheless, we are conscious that all the main political parties want to help people own a home of their own. We have therefore consulted across our members and the wider housing sector and put together some ideas for reforming the Right to Buy which will help reduce the loss of social housing and ensure councils have the confidence to build.

Our recommendations include a ‘Buyers Charter’ for those buying council homes, removing the Right to Buy from newbuild homes, and ensuring that councils receive the full value of Right to Buy sales.
This Buyers’ Charter would include the following provisions:
1. Covenants should be placed on sales to either prevent the property from being let out, or alternatively to require them to be offered to the council to let, if they are not being used for owner-occupation.
2. Discounts on a home should be reduced to no more than 20% of its value.
3. The length of residency required to purchase should be increased to at least 5 years.
4. The exemption criteria should be modernised to include larger homes and those designed for specialist needs.
5. The details of the ‘Buyers Charter’ should be devolved to local councils.


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