Boris Johnson told officials to develop plans in the last fortnight to help “generation rent” get a foot on the housing ladder. The proposal intends to support 2.5 million households in England who rent properties from housing associations by enabling them the opportunity to purchase their homes at a discounted price.
In addition, billions of pounds paid by the Government in housing benefits could be used to help recipients secure mortgages.
The scheme was included in the 2015 Tory election manifesto but has been revisited ahead of the local elections on May 5.
A Government source told the Telegraph plans have been in consideration for several weeks.
They said: “The Prime Minister has got very excited about this. It could be hugely significant.
“In many ways it is a direct replica of the great Maggie idea of ‘buy your own council flat’. It is ‘buy your own housing association flat’.”
A similar policy was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1980 allowing council tenants to purchase their properties at discounted rates, bringing a wave of social mobility.
The scheme could help the Conservatives’ levelling up aims but Labour has branded the plan as “desperate”.
Chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter Polly Neate said the policy was a “hare-brained idea” and was “the opposite of what the country needs”.
She said: “There could not be a worse time to sell off what remains of our last truly affordable social homes.”
Mr Neate said the original Right to Buy scheme tore “a massive hole” in England’s social housing stock as less than five percent of properties sold were replaced with affordable homes to rent.
She added: “These half-baked plans have been tried before and they’ve failed.
“Over one million households are stuck on social housing waiting lists in England, and with every bill skyrocketing, the government should be building more social homes so we have more not less.”
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