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Only 1.6% apply to purchase home in Right to Buy pilot scheme

Monday 29 August 2016

A tiny fraction of those in social housing have applied to purchase their homes in the Right to Buy pilot scheme so far, it has been revealed.

Just 1.6% of those eligible have applied, which is well below the initial predictions that 7% would opt to take the plunge.

Of the five social landlords trialing the scheme, just 790 applications have been received, according to Inside Housing.

The Communities and Local Government committee (CLG) released a report last year which suggested 170,000 social housing tenants could snap up the offer to buy their home.

But after the latest results, a spokesman for the CLG said: "We have always been clear that this is a small sample to test the new scheme before we roll it out nationally."

The pilot scheme was taken on by housing association Riverside, Saffron Housing, Thames Valley, Sovereign and L&Q, who invited applications from January.

Sheffield Hallam University predicted that one in three would have snapped up their home in the scheme following a survey of 7,000 housing association tenants.

As part of the trial, residents can only be eligible if they have lived in their social housing for 10 years, but it is expected to be just three years when the scheme is rolled out in full.

However, the full details of the eligibility are yet to be released, but there is confidence that more people will sign up.

Director of strategy at pilot landlord Riverside, Hugh Owen, said earlier this summer: "We have had to carefully manage numbers throughout the pilot but we are getting a sense that there is genuine pent up demand, and it is sobering to note that the survey reveals that more than 60% of those who have expressed an interest but not applied claim they will."

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