Tuesday, 24 July 2012 2:17 PM
The government has launched a new campaign to publicise the right to buy after a survey showed eight out of ten social housing tenants were not aware that they could be entitled to a discount of up to £75,000 if they buy their home.
A new dedicated call centre and website will now help the estimated 2.5 million tenants entitled to the right to buy to get advice and information. Council tenants and some housing association tenants are eligible.
The government attempted to reinvigorate the flagship policy of the 1980s in April by increasing the maximum discount available and pledging that every social rented property sold will be replaced with a new “affordable” home.
Several councils in England have reported a surge in interest. Wandsworth in London received 141 applications between April and June compared to just 13 in the same period last year, while applications doubled in Birmingham.
However, an Ipsos MORI survey of social housing tenants in May revealed that 83 per cent were either not aware of the right to buy or were not aware of the changes.
More than two million tenants have already bought their home since the right to buy was introduced in 1980. The new website is at www.communites.gov.uk/righttobuy while the call centre number is 0300 123 0913.
Housing minister Grant Shapps said: “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."