Statement on Ending Right to Buy

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Labour should commit to ending Right to Buy

We the undersigned agree with Lisa Nandy that “the idea of a home for life handed on in common ownership to future generations is an idea worth fighting for.” That requires the ending of the disastrous Right to Buy policy. In Scotland and Wales it has already been ended.

In England there are now less than 1.6 million council homes left. Even if councils were able to keep all receipts for sales they would have to build more than 12,000 council homes a year just to replace homes sold and demolished. That many haven’t been built since 1990.

RTB not only means the loss of homes but councils losing rental stream, leaving them with less money for the maintenance and renewal of their existing stock.

Many homes sold under RTB end up in the private rented sector; an estimated 40%. This drives up the housing benefit bill because of the much higher private rents.

Labour conferences in 2019 and 2021 voted overwhelmingly for RTB to be ended. It was incorporated in the 2019 manifesto. At the 2021 conference Lucy Powell said that it is the right thing to do and that is what the members want.

Ending RTB will stop the loss of homes and ensure that for the first time since it was introduced all new council house building will increase the stock and enable the waiting lists to begin to fall. It is also without cost and will stop the loss of rental income to councils.

We therefore call on Labour to commit to ending RTB when in government.”

To sign the statement email labourcouncilhousingcampaign@gmail.com

Download a copy of the statement and an initial list of signatories here