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Right to Buy campaign drive gets off the ground

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A PR drive to help social tenants understand the benefits of Right to Buy is underway, Housing Minister Grant Shapps has confirmed.

A dedicated call centre and user-friendly website have gone live to help aspiring home-owners get advice and information about changes to the Right to Buy.

Launched in April, the scheme offers eligible tenants discounts of up to £75,000, with a national pledge that every additional property sold will be replaced with a new affordable home to rent.

Wandsworth and Birmingham City councils have reported a surge in interest from tenants since the discounts available under the Right to Buy increased.

Between April and June this year, Wandsworth council received 141 applications, compared to just 13 during the same period in 2011; and Birmingham City council received 463 applications in the three months to June 2012, compared to 219 during the same period in 2011.

However, research commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) found that many council and housing association tenants are unaware of the changes, or unsure whether they are eligible to apply.

Shapps said: “Our revitalised Right to Buy scheme has trebled the discount in many areas, and has led to a surge in interest from aspiring homeowners across the country. But our research clearly shows that too many tenants are still in the dark about what this could mean for them.

“That’s why I’m launching a dedicated call centre and website for anyone wanting to use their Right to Buy so that those wanting to buy their council home are equipped with all the facts, can make an informed decision and take full advantage of the revitalised scheme.”

Details of the scheme are available on the government’s Right to Buy website.

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