Housing Associations Will Go To Court Over Right To Buy
Housing associations across the UK have said that they will take the government to court over plans to sell off their housing stocks at a fraction of it's true value. They are furious at the recent pledge by David Cameron that if he is re-elected he will pass new laws forcing housing associations to sell their housing stocks with the same discounts as local councils have to offer their tenants. They are up in arms because they feel this is nothing short of the Conservative Party buying votes in order to get re-elected .According to some experts many housing associations would be forced into bankruptcy if the new rules come into force because their value of their property portfolio will halve overnight.
The problem because the housing associations are private not for profit organisations and forcing them to sell their property portfolio at below market value would potentially contravene Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights which gives everyone the right to the peaceful enjoyment of one's possessions. Well I don't really suppose this will mater that much if we have a referendum and decide the leave the EU.
Charity Law May Have To Be Changed
Experts in the industry have also said that the charity law would have to be changed as well because charities as well as housing associations are not allowed to sell properties for below their market value. Right to buy has already had a big impact on the availability of affordable homes across the UK as hundreds of thousand of tenants have exercised their right to buy their own council house. This has reduced the social housing stock available to working families across Britain and the new announcement will do nothing to change this according to housing experts.
David Cameron has said that his government would build 400,000 new homes over the next five years by using the proceeds from the sale of social housing . However new figures released show that we are only replacing one new council home for every five that are sold which is evidence that this pledge to build more homes will not work. Experts argue that this is just gong to increase the shortage of affordable homes and push up prices in the rental sector.
There is going to be a huge stink over this because whilst it may be an aspiration of everyone to own their own home 36% of the properties that have been sold under the "right to buy" belong to private landlords who are not the original tenants. Housing associations have already said that it will be impossible to replace these homes with like for like homes because under "right to buy " they will be sold at a fraction of their costs.