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Government housing bill set for confirmation

Words: Laura Edgar
Greg Clark

Measures to increase house building and spread home ownership are due to be announced by communities secretary Greg Clark.

The government has confirmed that a housing bill, including measures to increase house building, will feature in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech.

The bill will include an extension to the Right to Buy scheme to 1.3 million housing association tenants, which would allow them to purchase their homes with the same discounts (a maximum of £77,900 in London and £103,900 in the rest of England) offered to council tenants.

Clark explained that the bill would “create a level playing field”.

“Our housing bill will offer over a million people a helping hand onto the housing ladder. That is what a government for working people is about – making sure people have the security they need to build a brighter future for them and their families,” he said.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis added: “Anyone who works hard and wants to get on the property ladder should have the opportunity to do so, which is why tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech will include measures so a million more people have the chance to do exactly that.”

The Right to Buy scheme would be funded through councils selling its most expensive housing when it is vacant, said the government, with the receipts used to provide new affordable housing in that area. The surplus, the government added, would be used to fund the Right to Buy for housing association tenants.

The bill also includes the government’s Starter Homes initiative, aimed at helping 200,000 first-time buyers under the age of 40 get onto the housing ladder. 

Additionally, it features a Right to Build scheme, which the government said would increase housing supply and “diversify the housing sector by giving people the right to be allocated land with planning permissions for them to self-build or commission a local builder to build a home,” as well as a new Brownfield Regeneration Fund.