Pre-election the HA RTB was included in the list of promises that would be turned into action within the first 100 days. If the Conservatives were anticipating a minority Government they might have taken the  view that such a proposal would be voted down and that would be the end of it; but now they have to deliver on their promise – and soon.

The manifesto promise did make clear that housing associations would be “compensated”; though some commentators have pointed out the promise didn’t state fully compensated; when the Conservatives introduced the Right to Acquire they did just that; so they have form in returning the discount in cash to housing associations.

And with the RTA careful thought was given to asset cover; the “net and peak debt” exclusion was an attempt to provide a solution for entities who had entered financial arrangements with no thought that their assets might be compulsorily sold. The “peak debt” part is an exclusion where the amount of the sale price less the discount doesn’t cover “the maximum amount which the landlord may borrow under a loan agreement which is attributable to the dwelling-house

The RTA legislation also picked up the anomalies such as rural housing developments.

So if we were the civil servants trying to implement this we would propose:

  • Renaming the Right to Acquire the HA Right to Buy
  • Increasing the discounts to the same as the RTB

All well and good (almost?) for housing associations? Not too good for local authorities though nor people waiting for social housing generally...

For more information

Please contact Jonathan Cox.

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