I do wonder if the proposed extension to the right to buy legislation has been thought through sufficiently well. Prominent voices, like those of Lord Bob Kerslake (not so long out of DCLG and before that the HCA) will not be missed.
In amongst all that’s being said about the insufficiency of the money raised to fund the costs of the discounts and the issues in replacing housing stock in the same localities as that sold, I've yet to hear anything much said of the potential for disruption in the housing association sector of managing this change.
What about those housing associations which are charities, who will find it impossible to re-invest in enough similar new homes to satisfy their charitable objectives, especially if their charitable purposes are confined to a given geographic area?
Potentially more worrying is the possibility that housing associations’ investment strategies and funding arrangements will need to be substantially revised. During a period of transition and disruption their essential relationship with developers and housebuilders may well be affected. What will happen then to the ability of those bringing forward new developments, who are obliged to sequence the delivery of affordable housing in line with market housing, when the appetite of that multitude of housing association partners are not able or willing to engage with them?
It must surely be an unintended consequence of the Government’s proposals that they not only diminish the stock of affordable housing available to those in need of it, but that potentially they slow down the supply of all new housing.