Voluntary Right to Buy

Questions and answers

 The Government committed in the last General Election to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants. Housing associations such as Home Group have been working work with the Government to agree how this new offer will work in practice. Although it had not been launched we were awaiting details of the scheme.

 

Since the announcement of a General Election there will be a hold on any further information regarding vRTB and the extension of the pilot scheme.

This is because during the run up to an election the Government is unable to make any policy announcements, therefore details on the upcoming pilot will not be confirmed until after the General Election.

When further details are confirmed they will be available on the Government's Right to Buy website: righttobuy.gov.uk and we will update Home Group’s website.

 

  • What is Voluntary Right to Buy?

    • The government committed in the last general election to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants. Housing associations such as Home Group have been working work with the government to agree how this new offer will work in practice

      For updates or more information about the scheme, tenants can sign up for updates from the Government or contact the Right to Buy Agent service at righttobuy.gov.uk

  • When will Voluntary Right to Buy start?

    • As yet, the start date has not been confirmed. There has been a delay while a pilot scheme is carried out. We’re waiting further details from the government on the location of the pilot and the eligibility criteria for tenants, and will update you as soon as we can.  

  • Hasn't Voluntary Right to Buy already started in some places?

    • Five housing associations have taken part in a pilot scheme in limited locations to help inform the design and implementation of the main scheme. This original pilot started in January 2016 and is now closed following review.

      The government has recently confirmed another regional pilot, but we’re awaiting further details on the location of this pilot and the eligibility criteria for tenants.

  • Why is there another pilot?

    • The new pilot will test two important parts of the scheme that weren’t tested in the original pilot, one for one replacement and portability. Portability is when a tenant cannot purchase their current home they are offered an option to port their discount to an alternative property of belonging to their housing association or another willing housing association.

      One for one is xxx

      The Government want to test this so that tenants have a smooth experience when vRTB is rolled out nationally.

  • When will the new pilot start?

    • The date hasn’t been confirmed yet but the extended pilot will start this year. Details will be available on our website or the government website when it starts.

  • How long will the new pilot last?

    • The new pilot will last for one year.

  • Where will the new pilot be?

    • Home Group is committed to vRTB and is waiting for more details about the extended pilot. In the meantime, if you are interested in the national scheme you can register your interest with us.

      For updates on the national scheme, you can keep checking our web pages or visit the government’s website righttobuy.gov.uk.

  • What if I'm not in the region of the new pilot?

    • Home Group is committed to vRTB and is waiting for more details about the extended pilot. In the meantime, if you are interested in the national scheme you can register your interest with us.

      For updates on the national scheme, you can keep checking our web pages or visit the government’s website righttobuy.gov.uk.

  • If I’m eligible, will I be able to buy the home I’m living in now?

    • Tenants who meet the government’s eligibility criteria, once it is decided, will be entitled to a Voluntary Right to Buy discount and, in most cases, we expect that tenants will be able to use their discount to buy the home that they live in.

      However, there may be cases where housing associations cannot sell that particular home.

      Each housing association, including Home Group will publish its individual policy outlining which homes would be sold and which wouldn’t, and why, nearer the date of the scheme launch.

      The new pilot is testing portability – this is when a tenant cannot purchase their current home so they are offered an option to port their discount to an alternative property of belonging to their housing association or another willing housing association.

  • Which homes won't you sell?

    • Once the pilot is completed and the government issues the guidelines we will be able to publish our policy outlining which homes will be sold and which won’t, and why, when the national scheme launches.

  • Why are housing associations doing Voluntary Right to Buy?

    • Home Group is supporting VRTB because we are committed to increasing home ownership for our tenants. By selling houses we can use the money to build more much needed affordable social housing.

  • Why is the scheme called 'voluntary'?

    • The government is extending Right to Buy to housing association tenants and housing associations agreed to voluntarily work with them to do this. The scheme, once launched will address concerns around supply and independence for the housing sector. For example, it will allow housing associations to replace homes sold and protects certain, hard-to-replace homes from being sold.

  • Will Voluntary Right to Buy mean we lose social/affordable housing?

    • For every home sold under vRTB, the housing association will get compensation to replace each one with another affordable home. This will continue to boost the nation’s housing supply.

      In 2015 housing associations delivered 40% of all new homes in the country.

  • Will the replacement homes be the same kind as those sold?

    • Housing associations will be able to replace affordable homes flexibly in a way that reflects what each local community needs. Whether it is a home for shared ownership or a home for social or affordable rent, housing associations will be able to use their unique understanding of their communities to assess what is needed.

  • Do you agree with selling high-value council assets to fund the scheme?

    • The Government makes decisions about how it funds its manifesto commitments and these are not for housing associations to take. Our priority is to ensure that the scheme works for our tenants and allows housing associations to replace homes sold. 

  • If I currently have shared ownership, can I purchase my house?

    • If you are a shared owner you will not be eligible for vRTB, but you can talk to us about buying a further share of your home.

  • How do I get my discount?

    • The scheme has not yet launched. As soon as it is launched, information on how to apply for a government discount will be confirmed as part of the application process. For updates on the scheme, you can visit the Government’s website, righttobuy.gov.uk, and sign up for email newsletters.

  • Why do we still not know who will be eligible/when the scheme will start?

    • At the moment, the scheme is being tested through an extended pilot and the detail is being worked through to make sure the new scheme works as well as possible.

      Once this is finalised, the tenant eligibility criteria will be available and the national scheme will start. You can register your interest with Home Group or sign up for updates or contact the Right to Buy Agent service with questions by visiting the Government’s website, righttobuy.gov.uk

  • Has the EU referendum result affected Voluntary Right to Buy?

    • The Government has confirmed it is standing behind its manifesto commitments, including extending Right to Buy level discounts to housing association tenants, so they too can have the opportunity to buy a home with a Right to Buy discount. 

  • How do I register my interest?

    • If you are a Home Group tenant and you would like to log an expression of interest, you can speak to one of our advisors by calling 0345 141 4663, by Live Chat or by filling out the form on our Contact Us page

      or through the Government’s website, righttobuy.gov.uk



  • Who can I speak to if I have any other questions about Voluntary Right to Buy?

    • You can visit righttobuy.gov.uk to speak to one of the Government’s Right to Buy Agents or sign up for emails.