Magazine article Public Finance

RSLs Cautious over Social HomeBuy

Magazine article Public Finance

RSLs Cautious over Social HomeBuy

Article excerpt

Social landlords are offering only qualified backing for Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's flagship scheme to extend home ownership, the National Housing Federation has warned.

Helen Williams, head of neighbourhoods and sustainability at the federation, said housing associations were behind the principle of ownership but had to assess whether they could afford to replace homes lost through Social HomeBuy and still meet the decent homes target.

'Whether it takes off on the ground depends on what model emerges and the ability of associations to continue their investment plans,' said Williams in response to a consultation paper launched by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on April 1.

Spurred on by government-funded discounts, an estimated 300,000 council and housing association tenants who are ineligible for right to buy could opt to buy shares in their home prior to outright purchase.

Ruth Lucas, housing policy manager at the Local Government Association, said Social HomeBuy should be more attractive to councils than right to buy because they can keep all receipts. But, she added, councils would wish to check that tenants could afford the long-term costs of being a homeowner. …

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