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Social Housing - Right to Buy: The Future

Social housing is a topic rarely out of our newspapers or off our screens and most recently this is due to a call from Housing Associations across the country to reform the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme.

Originally introduced by Thatcher in 1980 the scheme has evolved to a point where the tenant has to have lived in the property for five years before they have the opportunity to purchase it. Another alteration is that properties bought after January 2005 can no longer be placed straight on to the open market but must offer the property back to the original landlord (council or housing association) first, known as ‘first right of refusal’.

In 2011, Cameron used the scheme in order to reignite the housing market by increasing ‘Right to Buy’ discounts. In London, during 2013 the largest discount was offered so far at an impressive £100,000. Scottish government announced, around this same time, that the scheme would be abolished in Scotland as of 2017, a shocking blow for inhabitants.

The aim of the scheme has always been to help people on low incomes get onto the property ladder whilst maintaining the amount of affordable housing available to rent, however housing associations have now called for enhanced regulations as we are in the midst of a ‘housing crisis’, where low cost rental properties are in low supply and the profit to build replacement property isn’t being generated.

A tangible example of this is that a regular occurrence within the scheme is that less than £30,000 is made from an average property and to build a replacement is £140,000 on average. As you can see from this example there is a lot of difference here, however, housing associations are in talks with the Government about this, as well as other house buying schemes to try to find a solution to the current crisis.

Similarly to one of our other blog posts about the rail industry the shift in purpose for social housing organisations and its employees means they are able to now offer apprenticeships, HR, PR and social media roles in addition to the staff that coordinate and allocate housing.

If you’re reading this thinking 2015 could be the year you make a change in career, that you’re graduating or maybe you’re hoping for a promotion, then maybe the social housing sector is worth your consideration. If unsure, do check out our recent infographic here showing key transferable skills that you might already have!

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