Autumn Statement 2015: Right to Buy pilot scheme kicks off
Tenants living in housing associations will have greater opportunities to own their own homes, as the Chancellor rolled out plans to extend the Right To Buy to housing association tenants in a move which could ultimately affect 1.3 million households.
The pilot scheme, which affects the tenants of five housing associations, will kick in at midnight tonight, permitting tenants to apply to buy the houses they live in.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: "Like the chancellor, housing associations want to build even more new homes that are affordable to rent and affordable to buy. This historic announcement provides the conditions for people at every level of the housing market."
However, a new report suggests that replacing housing association homes sold under Right to Buy with those for sale could drive up costs for low-income tenants and the taxpayer.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that there will be 75,000 fewer low-cost homes becoming available to let over the next five years if the homes built to replace those sold are available as shared ownership rather than as low-cost rentals. These people will be forced into the bottom rung of the private rental sector.
Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “To get to grips with the housing crisis we desperately need more affordable homes across all tenures, and Right to Buy will help unlock home ownership for some families who would not otherwise have been able to afford it.
“But this research shows how important it is to keep up the numbers of genuinely affordable rented homes. To make sure that this policy doesn’t drive up poverty in the long term, the Government must ensure that every low-rent home sold is replaced by another of the same tenure, same cost and same locality.”
Documents released by the Treasury today show Right To Buy take up among local authority tenants has increased by 319% since 2012.
A hugely unpopular tax paid on property and share purchases. Stamp duty on property is levied at 1% for purchases over £125,000 (£250,000 for first-time buyers) which then moves up at a tiered rate. For property between £125k and £250k you pay 1%, then 3% from £250k up to £500k and then 4% from £500k to £1m and then 5% for properties over £1m. But unlike income tax, which is “tiered” and different rates kick in at different levels, stamp duty is a “slab” tax where you pay the rate on the whole purchase price of the property. On shares, stamp duty is charged at a flat rate of 0.5% on all share purchases. Figures correct as of May 2011.
Everything you own: all your assets (property, cars, investments, savings, insurance payouts, artwork, furniture etc) minus any liabilities (debts, current bills, payments still owed on assets like cars and houses, credit card balances and other outstanding loans). When you’re alive this is called your wealth; when you’re dead, it becomes your estate.