Technically the right to buy for Council tenants still exists but in practice John Prescott largely killed it off by dramatically scaling down the discounts. So the choice is to continue with a highly subsidised rent or buy at nearly the full market price. The aspiration for home ownership is still strong – around 70% of tenants would like to own. But the system is now stacked against making the option realistic.
Just 3,100 sales under the Right to Buy took place last year – compared to nearly 70,000 as recently as 2003. There were some other schemes, including ones from Housing Association which brought the total of sales to sitting tenants in Social Housing up to 8,510. This is against a couple of million council homes and another couple of million for housing associations.
What about restoring proper discounts for Right to Buy? Or at least, in a spirit of localism, allowing councils to offer what level of discount they choose?
Over to you, Mr Shapps.