Addressing right to buy in the UK

Since its launch in 1980 the Right to Buy scheme in the UK has delivered some two million homes from the public into the private sector. As a consequence of this process of steady privatisation it is challenging for UK social housing providers to deliver major retrofits to housing they manage. Multi-tenure housing complicates area-based delivery and social landlords may risk losing upgraded stock to private sector homeowners and landlords.

Right to Buy is a uniquely British challenge – a policy that is popular with Council house tenants that nonetheless leads to ‘odd ones out’ in a street of otherwise renovated and modernised homes.

In July 2018 the Energiesprong UK team discussed possible ways forward with social housing providers at a workshop hosted by the National Housing Federation. Addressing Right to Buy in the UK explains the policy and its consequences and summarises possible ways to accommodate Right to Buy whilst rolling out retrofit across an area of mixed tenure housing in the UK. This short review is based on a presentation given by one of the Energiesprong UK team.

Photo credit: Melius Homes