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First-time Buyer

Conservative manifesto extends Right to Buy and standardises shared ownership

Liz Bury
Written By:
Liz Bury

The Conservative Party election manifesto has set out a raft of housing policies including rolling out Right to Buy for housing association tenants, standardising shared ownership and extending Help to Buy to 2023.

A future Conservative government would evaluate new areas for voluntary Right to Buy for housing associations, building on a successful pilot of the scheme in the Midlands. It would also maintain Right to Buy for all council tenants, it said.

The party’s manifesto outlined plans to reform shared ownership by setting a single standard for all housing associations, thereby making the scheme simpler and more transparent.

Additionally, the Conservatives would extend Help to Buy from 2021 to 2023 and “review new ways to support home ownership following its completion”.

Buyers, renters, builders

Other housing-related policies included continuing with leasehold reforms such as banning sale of new leasehold homes, restricting ground rents to a peppercorn and providing mechanisms of redress for tenants.

The party’s “better deal for renters” included abolishing no fault evictions and establishing a single, lifetime deposit which would move with the tenant.

This was accompanied by strengthening rights of possession for landlords.

Additionally, it said a majority conservative government would increase the number of homes built to 300,000 a year by the mid-2020s, bring forward a Social Housing white paper and renew the Affordable Homes Programme.

It would also seek to make planning simpler and support modern methods of construction.

Last week, the Conservatives outlined ideas to encourage a market for lifetime fixed rate mortgages, a policy which left brokers unconvinced.

“There are more than three million people, many of them with good jobs and secure prospects, who would have been homeowners before the economic crisis in 2008 but have be locked out of the mortgage market,” the Conservative manifesto stated.

Home ownership was “one of the most fundamental Conservative values,” it added.