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Letter to Media - Response to Conservative pledge on home ownership - April 2015
We in the Liberal Party have read through the Conservatives manifesto
pledge to extend home ownership under the right to buy scheme to a
substantial number of private housing associations tenants.

What is none too clear from media reports is how the Conservatives
intend to replace the depleted housing stock,the level of compulsion
applied to private housing associations to sell, and the rights of
those who chose not to participate or can't obtain even a modest mortgage.

The damage to the finances of the current Housing Associations budgets
would be irresponsible if they were forced to sell properties at the
level of discount envisaged by the government without full and fair

Home ownership is not for everybody, and carries with it an open ended
commitment to maintenance which does not suit everybody and there will
always be those who's low wages or social circumstances precludes home

A stock of affordable homes and council housing will always been
needed, no more so than today, where the bedroom tax has driven many
into the private rental market, that many can ill afford. Many of the
south east authorities can not house low paid and key skills employees.

The estimated cost of the right to buy scheme, suggested to be in the
region of 6 billion pounds, could be equally spend on refurbishing the
excessive number of properties, possible in excess of 800000, which
are currently empty and represent an unrealised source of desperately needed homes.

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