Voluntary Right to Buy

Questions and answers

Find the answers to your most frequently asked questions about Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB) below.

  • What is Voluntary Right to Buy?

    • In December 2015 the government launched a pilot which extends the Right to Buy scheme to housing association tenants, this is known as Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB). Home Group were not one of the five housing associations involved in the pilot.

      For government updates via email or more information about the scheme, visit the government’s Right to Buy website.

  • When will Voluntary Right to Buy start?

    • The government have not yet confirmed a start date for the national launch of VRTB.

      In November 2017 the government announced the 2018-19 budget, which confirmed another ‘large-scale regional pilot would take place in the Midlands’. No further information has been issued, so we are not aware of the proposed timescales.

      Previous delays have been attributed to the Brexit preparations and the emergency response to the Grenfell tragedy.

  • Has Voluntary Right to Buy already started in some places?

    • In December 2015 the government launched a pilot with five housing associations, this was limited to specific locations in which these providers operate. The purpose of this initial pilot was to inform the design and implementation of the scheme prior to a national launch.

      In November 2017 the government confirmed that an extended regional pilot in the Midlands is required to conduct further testing.

  • Why is there another pilot?

    • The new pilot will test other parts of the scheme that weren’t tested in the original pilot.

  • 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.

      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?

    • No further information has been issued, so we are not aware of the proposed timescales. We will update these pages to ensure you are kept up to date with any significant developments

  • Where will the new pilot take place?

    • The new pilot will take place in the Midlands only.

  • How long will the new pilot last?

    • No further information has been issued, so we are not aware of the proposed timescales. We will update these pages to ensure you are kept up to date with any significant developments.

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

    • Home Group remain absolutely committed to supporting the home ownership aspirations of our customers, but we are unable to take any further action until the government confirm the funding and regulations are in place to support the national launch of VRTB.

      You can express your interest in VRTB by calling our Customer Service Centre on 0345 141 4663, so we can capture some basic details about you and your property. We will also ensure you are kept up to date with any significant developments.

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

    • The intention of the scheme is to allow tenants to but their current home, providing they meet the eligibility criteria, which will be confirmed by the government when they release regulations.

      In some cases we are not legally permitted to sell your current home, Home Group will publish a policy outlining which homes we can and can’t sell once the government have confirmed that the scheme will be launched nationally.

  • Which homes won't you sell?

    • Once the extended regional pilot is completed and the government issues the regulations to support the national launch of the scheme, we will be able to publish our policy outlining which homes we can and can’t sell, explaining the reasons why.

  • Why are housing associations supporting Voluntary Right to Buy?

    • Home Group is supporting VRTB because we are committed to supporting the home ownership aspirations of our tenants. By selling houses we can use the money to build more affordable social housing for those in need.

  • Why is the scheme called 'voluntary'?

    • The government is extending the Right to Buy scheme to housing association tenants on a voluntary basis, which means that each housing association were given the choice to decide if they had the ability to support the scheme.

      Home Group made the decision to support the scheme as we could meet the obligation to use the money from the sale of houses to build more affordable social housing for those in need. We are also willing to develop a policy which clearly outlines the homes we are unable to sell due to legal restrictions, which are usually in place to protect the supply of affordable homes in specific locations.

  • 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.

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

    • Housing associations will be able to use their local knowledge and engagement plans to replace affordable homes flexibly, in a way that reflects the needs of each community.

  • 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 by calling our Customer Service Centre on 0345 141 4663 to log your enquiry for our sales team to investigate your options.

  • How do I get my VRTB discount?

    • The government have not yet confirmed a start date for the national launch of VRTB. Once the extended regional pilot is completed and the government issues the regulations to support the national launch of the scheme we will be able to share further details on how the scheme will work.

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

    • The government have not yet confirmed a start date for the national launch of VRTB. Once the extended regional pilot is completed and the government issues the regulations to support the national launch of the scheme we will be able to share further details on how the scheme will work.

  • How has Brexit affected Voluntary Right to Buy?

    • The preparations for Brexit have been a priority for all government departments, this has caused delays for many activities including VRTB.

      No other decisions relating to VRTB have been directly influenced by the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

  • How do I register my interest?

    • You can express your interest in VRTB by calling our Customer Service Centre on 0345 141 4663, so we can capture some basic details about you and your property. We will also ensure you are kept up to date with any significant developments.

      We would also recommend that all customers visit the official Right to Buy website for government updates via email and more information about the scheme.

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