The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has spoken out about the need to preserve vital social housing, and have targeted the Right to Buy scheme as a culprit for endangering these last resort homes.
The CIH say that social housing in rural areas is being lost, due to people buying it up, particularly through the Right to Buy scheme. This is pricing young people and those on a small income out of villages and smaller towns, according to the CIH. This is threatening to leave the country the domain of the elderly and the rich, pricing young and low income families out of the country.
Furthermore, the Audit Commission claimed that instances of Right to Buy fraud had increased by almost five times since 2009-10, putting even more pressure on available social housing numbers as people ineligible for those houses are buying them. This fraud is estimated to cost £12.3 million per year.
The CIH suggest, ironically, reducing the availability of Right to Buy in some areas in order to make more homes available.
Gavin Smart, interim chief executive of CIH, said: “Many rural communities are already at risk of becoming home only to wealthy or older people, with young people and people on lower incomes priced out.
“Exempting these communities from Right to Buy would help stem the loss of vital affordable housing. And when homes are sold under Right to Buy, we need to make sure they are going to people who have a right to benefit.”
The group is pressuring in light of the oncoming budget set for next month, hoping that George Osborne will use the opportunity to change things and preserve social housing in rural areas.