Warning over right to buy scheme

Matthew Applegate VAHT

Matthew Applegate VAHT

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A housing boss has warned about the potential consequences of government plans to force his trust to sell off properties.

Matthew Applegate, chief executive of the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust says that between 50 and 100 of the trust’s properties could be sold each year under the government’s planned right to buy scheme.

And he warned that the move is coming at a time when affordable housing is in greater demand, and that trust building projects would only be approved in urban areas, and not in numbers that would cater to the waiting list.

He said: “At a time when property costs, rent, repairs and mortgage costs have never been higher, we should be increasing the numbers of affordable housing not dramatically reducing it.

“The extension of right to buy will only make a dire situation even worse.”

He added: “These homes will be sold in areas of high value, and the Aylesbury Vale has lots of villages where private rents are high.

“These homes will never come back, and as a result people won’t be able to take lower paid jobs in high value areas because they won’t be able to afford to live there.

“Already the Vale of Aylesbury has lost over 11,000 council properties, many of these are now private lets at full market rent.

“Housing Associations are a force for good and work for a social benefit.”