Right to Buy was a scheme designed to help the 1980s British dream – buy your own home. Now figures have found that it’s actually significantly helping the 2000s British dream – the right to buy a house and rent it out to someone less well off than you for a massive profit. In fact, 40% of right to buy homes are now being let out by private landlords.
In principle right to buy is pretty low on the evil scale. Council tenants are given a discount of about 40% on buying the home they have rented for at least 5 years, and agree not to sell it for another 5 years. In return they hopefully change allegiance and vote Conservative – I mean who wouldn’t when you bung them sometimes over a million pounds.
The original commitment with right to buy was that for every home sold, a new one would be built, so the pool of social housing was not depleted. That didn’t happen. In parts of London, no replacement homes at all were built. On average, for every 8 homes sold, only 1 was built. But councils have a desperate need for housing, so what is happening is often councils are paying the housing benefit for people to rent the houses that the council used to own, at a vastly inflated rate – in turn pushing up the rental market, and costing taxpayers a fortune. So the net result is that taxpayer assets (the houses) were sold at a loss, and then rented back for much more. Mwhahaha.