03 Apr 2023

CIH responds to government decision to allow councils to keep right to buy receipts for the next two years

On behalf of Michael Gove, on Friday 31 March 2023, a letter was sent to all council chief executives and section 151 officers to confirm that councils would be able to keep their right to buy receipts for 2022-23 and 2023-24.

Commenting on the announcement, James Prestwich, CIH director of policy and external affairs said:

"CIH welcomes the government announcement that councils will be able to keep two years’ worth of receipts from selling homes under the right to buy to build new homes. The news follows regular recommendations from CIH and other sector bodies that councils should be able to retain all their right to buy receipts.

"The UK Housing Review shows that these total over £40 billion since right to buy began in 1981, only a small proportion of which have been spent on new homes. The Review also shows that there has been a net loss of 218,000 social rented homes over the last decade, during which 157,000 have been sold via right to buy.

"We would urge that the government consider making this change permanent. However, the urgency of the housing crisis means that more drastic action is needed: government should suspend the right to buy and halt the loss of social rented homes. This would follow the action taken in Scotland and Wales, where right to buy has already been ended because of the need to provide more social rented homes."