MPs Backs CLA Call for Exemption to Right to Buy for Rural Areas

10 February 2016

MPs have set out significant concerns about the impact of the Government’s Right to Buy Policy on rural areas.

They set out these concerns in a report of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on ‘Housing Associations and the Right to Buy’ published today.

The CLA submitted evidence to the Inquiry and continues to argue for the introduction of specific amendments to the Housing and Planning Bill currently before Parliament that would exempt houses in rural areas from the proposed right to buy. 

CLA President Ross Murray said: “MPs have agreed with us that that allowing right to buy of affordable houses in our rural villages will be extremely damaging for local people. We urge Ministers to listen to these concerns and introduce a clear exemption in the proposed changes to housing legislation before it is too late.

“We support the ambition to make it possible for people to buy and own their own home, but in rural areas, housing is scarce and expensive. The Committee rightly identified the significant barriers to replacing houses that are sold off.  They also pointed out the likely reluctance of landowners to release land for new affordable housing if it will, after a short period, be taken away from the local people that need it most. We must ensure social rented properties remain available in our rural communities for the needs of future generations.”

Peers will debate amendments supported by the CLA and a consortium of rural housing experts at the next Committee stage of the Bill in March.