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Transparency and consultation needed on voluntary Right to Buy extension

25 September 2015

It was announced yesterday by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, that the Government has worked with the National Housing Federation to propose a voluntary agreement to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants. 

Associations have been given a week to decide whether they would like to sign up to this agreement. It is also important to note that the voluntary arrangement entertains the idea that rural areas will be exempt from the extension to Right to Buy.

John Rowley, planning officer at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), comments:

"We believe that such monumental changes to rural housing need to be carefully considered and open to public scrutiny. Although the proposed voluntary agreement does mention exemptions in rural areas, the definition of ‘rural’ is incomplete and out of date.

"We are therefore calling on the Government to update the rural definition for exemptions, and ensure that any changes to the current system are subject to consultation and transparency. Without these conditions, it is possible that rural communities will lose a significant number of genuinely affordable homes without proper assurance that these homes will be replaced or that others will be available for those that need them."

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