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Lib Dems table amendments to 'neuter' government Right to Buy policy

January 4, 2016 11:21 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dem Plan for Affordable Housing graphicLib Dem leader Tim Farron has tabled a series of amendments to try and neuter the Government's flagship Right to Buy policy. The amendments will be debated in Tuesday's Housing Bill.

Tim has tabled an amendment to oppose right to Buy altogether. He's also put down an amendment so that a replacement home has to be found before a home is sold off under Right to Buy. This would effectively neuter a scheme Tim believes will hurt low income families and especially rural communities.

Tim said:

"This new Right to Buy is social engineering, wrapped up in the thin cloak of 'aspiration'. In reality it is pitting one group against another for a home. Giving a tax break to one group who might vote Tory and ignoring another.

"This new Right to Buy is reheating one of the worst aspects of Thatcherism. It will, yet again, rip the heart out of housing in communities that we have worked for the last 20 years to rebuild."

Tim has tabled the following amendments:

Page 27, line 21, leave out Clause 61

Explanatory statement - This amendment removes the ability of the Secretary of State to make grants with respect to Right to Buy discounts to private registered providers including housing associations.

Page 27, line 29, leave out Clause 62

Explanatory statement - This amendment removes the ability of the Greater London Authority to make grants with respect to Right to Buy discounts to private registered providers including housing associations in London.

Clause 64, page 28, line 24, at end insert-

"( ) A dwelling must not be sold under the Right to Buy without the Housing Association having first-

(a) identified the dwelling that will become the replacement for the dwelling sold, where -

i) the replacement dwelling may be an existing dwelling or a planned new-build,

ii) the tenure of the replacement property is presumed to be the same as that of the dwelling sold under Right to Buy, unless a different tenure can be justified on the basis of local needs, and

iii) the replacement dwelling is located in the same local authority area as the dwelling sold; and

b) communicated the replacement plan to the Regulator.

Explanatory statement - This amendment would ensure that a home cannot be sold under Right to Buy until a suitable replacement home has first been found or planned.

Clause 3, page 2, line 28, after "starter homes" insert "and other types of affordable housing"

Explanatory statement - This amendment would ensure that new developments include a range of affordable housing options, to rent and buy.