Right to buy and shared ownership in Housing Associations in England

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2020 Community Conference and Seminar
6 November 2019
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that In October 2019 the then Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick MP issued a press statement stating that the government wished to work with housing associations on a voluntary basis in regard to introducing shared ownership right to buy. The press release stated:

�For those tenants in new stock, there will be an automatic right to buy a share of their home from as little as 10%, with the ability to increase that share over time, up to full ownership. �

UNISON is strongly opposed to the existing �right to buy� for council and housing association tenants because it moves social housing into the private sector, all too often leading to homes built with public money ending up in the profit making private rented sector, at a time when we are not building enough social rented homes and there�s a growing demand for such homes.

For precisely the same reason Conference is opposed to the introduction of the voluntary Right to Buy Shared Ownership for housing association tenants. This conference believes that both housing association homes must be preserved as a societal resource, providing homes at social rents. Diversifying and extending the Right to Buy in England will lead to a reduced stock and reduced rental income which could impact on the financial viability of housing associations to maintain and build homes, and put housing association jobs and services at risk.

Conference therefore opposes this proposed policy which would impact on the sustainability and stability of the housing associations sector in which our members work.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to:

1)Lobby and campaign to ensure the proposed policy on right to buy and shared ownership in housing associations is not implemented

2)Work with colleagues on the Housing Associations Sector Committee to produce a briefing on the negative impact that right to buy can have, for use as a campaigning tool by members