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Housing Housing

Build new fixed-term social houses

Last updated: 08:27pm 19 July 2018

In doing so, we will build new fixed-term social houses, which will be sold privately after ten to fifteen years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants, the proceeds of which will be recycled into further homes.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.71

Our verdict

This policy combines two major objectives of the government in Housing. The first is addressing the crisis of affordable housing. The second is the desire to end lifetime tenancies.

The government has re-emphasised its desire to build social houses since its election. After the fall in the number of affordable houses delivered in 2015-2016, the trend reversed the following year as 41,530 of them were created. This is something that the Minister of State for Housing is committed to continue. The Chancellor also announced in the 2017 Autumn Budget that he will help councils with high pressure for affordable homes. However, we would need the numbers for 2017-2018 to better track the policies of the current government.

Local authorities still decide whether they offer lifetime tenancy or fixed-term contracts, but they now have support from above to extend the use of fixed-term contracts and give the Right to Buy to an increased number of tenants.

The policy is ‘in progress’ at the moment. It’s a long-term objective, “ten to fifteen years”, so we would only be able to consider it ‘done’ after that time, and we’d need evidence of increased building of social housing, private sales to tenants under Right to Buy, and proceeds from sales being fed back into further social housing provision.  Watch this space!


Want the detail?

Research Briefing 2016: Social housing –

Social Housing Update 2018: Written statement – HCWS614 –

Parliament Research Briefing 2018: What is affordable housing? –

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