Shapps launches Right-to-Buy sales hotline
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Finance
Shapps launches Right-to-Buy helpline
Housing minister Grant Shapps has launched a new hotline to provide assistance for those interested in the Government's Right-to-Buy scheme.
A dedicated call centre will provide advice and information to social housing tenants looking to buy their council house.
Launched in April, the reinvigorated scheme offers eligible tenants discounts of up to £75,000 off the value of their home, with a national pledge that every additional property sold will be replaced with a new affordable home to rent.
An advice website has launched alongside the sales line.
Shapps said: "For years, the Right-to-Buy for council tenants was undermined by punitive cuts to the discounts available, locking the door to home ownership for millions of hard-working people.
"Now, our revitalised Right-to-Buy scheme has trebled the discount in many areas, and has led to a surge in interest from aspiring homeowners across the country. But our research clearly shows that too many tenants are still in the dark about what this could mean for them.
"That's why today I'm launching a dedicated call centre and website for anyone wanting to use their Right to Buy so that those wanting to buy their council home are equipped with all the facts, make an informed decision and take full advantage of the revitalised scheme to feel the pride of home ownership."
The Government have reported a surge of interest in Right-to-Buy since discounts were increased.
Wandsworth Council in South London receieved 141 applications between April and June this year, compared to just 13 during the same period in 2011.
The Right-to-Buy scheme has been criticised by some. Aberdeen City Council has suspended the scheme in 50 letting areas for the next 10 years to “safeguard the continued availability of council houses”.
Matthew Warburton, policy spokesperson for the Association of Retained Council Housing, has argued that, "massively increasing the maximum discount to £75,000 will enable tenants to buy homes more cheaply, but also cut the receipts available to fund replacements".
When 24dash phoned the sales hotline earlier it was answered by a very polite and professional call centre operative, who said that the line was open between 10-8 Monday to Friday.