The ‘Right To Buy’ policy that lets council tenants buy their homes at a big discount should be extended to the tenants of private landlords, a Labour leadership contender has said.
Jeremy Corbyn said Labour needed to go further in tackling the housing crisis and that extending Right To Buy could help more people find a secure place to live.
“We know that Generation Rent faces an uphill struggle simply to get into long-term housing. We have seen some good ideas from Labour to establish more secure tenancies for renters. Now we need to go further and think of new ways to get more people into secure housing,” he said.
“So why not go with Right to Buy, with the same discounts as offered by way of subsidised mortgage rates, but for private tenants and funded by withdrawing the £14 billion tax allowances currently given to Buy to Let landlords?
“I believe this idea could open up the possibility of real secure housing for many currently faced with insecurity and high rents.”
Mr Corbyn said he would be launching a consultation on the policy over the summer as part of a package of new policies to solve the housing crisis.
The Conservatives are committed to extending Right To Buy to the tenants of housing associations – which are private, not-for-profit landlords.
If adopted, Mr Corbyn’s proposed policy would extend the same scheme to for-profit private landlords.
Right To Buy has previously been criticised by housing campaigners who say it has depleted the council housing stock and transferred it into the hands of private landlords.
Across London well over a third of one-time council homes are now rented privately to tenants – often at rents far higher than would be collected by local authorities.
Extending the scheme to for-profit landlords could see homes transferred into owner-occupation status – as was the stated original intention of the policy.
In April the Institute for Fiscal Studies said the Conservatives' plan to extend Right To Buy to housing associations would damage Britain's public finances and deplete its housing stock.
A group of dozens of housing associations has also threatened legal action against the Government if it goes ahead with the policy.
Other candidates for the Labour leadership include Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, and Liz Kendall.Reuse content