Tenants ‘delighted’ with new Right to Buy
Published: Monday 14th May 12
More than 1,000 tenants have made enquires about buying their homes from the council since Prime Minister David Cameron and Council Leader Ravi Govindia launched the new Right to Buy on April 3.
The revamped scheme offers council tenants a discount of up to £75,000 on the purchase price of their home. Previously the maximum discount had been capped at £16,000.
Over the past 12 months Wandsworth Council has been working closely with the Government to redesign Right to Buy and to reset the discount at a higher level.
In early April, Mr Cameron met with Cllr Govindia and local council tenants in Southfields to officially launch the improved scheme.
Since then more than 1,000 enquires have flooded in and the number of full applications has more than doubled.
So far, the average discount offered to eligible Wandsworth council tenants is £72,000.
The money raised through selling council homes will be used to build new affordable housing for local residents. For every home sold a new one will be built.
Cllr Govindia said: "The great thing about Right to Buy is that it offers ordinary families the chance to enjoy all the benefits of home ownership. That's why we have been pressing the Government to bring the scheme back to life and it's terrific to see so many households taking advantage of the higher discount.
"The tenants I've spoken to have been absolutely delighted with the changes and many are now in the process of applying for a mortgage. In the weeks ahead we will be touring the borough to make sure all of our tenants are aware that this life changing scheme has been revived.
"The money raised through selling council homes will be used to build new affordable housing. Every home sold will be replaced."
Wandsworth is one of the most prolific home building councils in the country having delivered more than 200 new properties through its Hidden Homes programme.
Executive member for housing Cllr Paul Ellis says the town hall will use this experience to deliver high quality new homes to replace those sold through Right to Buy.
He said: "We are proud to be a home building council. Over the last ten years we have created more affordable homes than any other council in London and that experience will be invaluable."
What is the Right to Buy?
The RtB scheme gives council tenants a discount on the market value of their home. The maximum discount is now £75,000.
Almost all council tenants who have lived in social housing for more than five years.
How much is the discount?
The level of discount will depend on the length of time tenants have lived in the property and whether it is a flat or a house.
For houses: tenants who have lived in the property for at least five years will be entitled to a discount of 35 per cent of its value. For every additional year they will receive an extra one per cent discount. The maximum discount for houses is capped at 60 per cent of the property value and cannot exceed £75,000.
For flats: tenants who have lived in the property for at least five years will be entitled to a discount of 50 per cent of its value. For every extra year they will receive an extra two per cent discount. The maximum discount for flats is capped at 70 per cent of the property value and cannot exceed £75,000.
How do I apply?
The application form is available on the council's website along with a guide to the application process: www.wandsworth.gov.uk/righttobuy
Who can help me with my application?
The council's home ownership team can explain how Right to Buy works and help tenants decided whether it is the right choice for them. Trained advisors will help applicants though every stage of the buying process.
Tel. 020 8871 6016
You can also speak to a member of the team at the town hall between Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm : Room 44, The Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street