Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was the Member of Parliament for Bedford from May 2010 to June 2017. I am now the Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire. Please visit my new website: for the latest news and information.

Last Wednesday, Richard led a parliamentary debate on the extension of Right to Buy for housing association tenants in Bedford and Kempston.

Richard urged the Minister to fulfil the government’s manifesto pledge to remove the unfairness in law that denies housing association tenants, like those of BPHA, the right to buy their home.

Richard said: “I called this debate in Parliament as a number of local residents have contacted me asking when they will be allowed to purchase their housing association home. This is a popular policy among local residents and I wanted to pass on that enthusiasm to the Housing Minister and ensure the towns of Bedford and Kempston are a priority for future pilots.”

In answering Richard, the Minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the policy stating that it is ‘not only about helping people who live in housing association accommodation to….buy the home they live in; it is also a pro-supply policy, because it guarantees that the housing association will provide an additional home with some of the income from the sale of a property’.

The Minister added that he was pleased with the results of the initial pilot schemes and welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to fund a larger regional pilot, which will allow about 3,000 families to buy their own home stressing that these pilots were important to test key areas of the policy.

Richard pressed the Minister to confirm Bedford as the next pilot area for the scheme, adding that the largest housing association in Bedford, Bedford Pilgrim Housing Association (BPHA) ‘is a strong supporter of the voluntary right to buy, because it sees the benefit in encouraging home ownership as well as the financial benefit to build more good-quality, low-cost housing that people can rent or, ultimately have the right to buy.’

The Minister agreed to pass on Richard’s enthusiasm for Bedford and Kempston to host a pilot scheme to both the Secretary of State and the Treasury.

3 Responses to Richard calls on Government to deliver right to buy for housing association tenants in Bedford & Kempston

  • I am unhappy about this move – obviously the right to buy is attractive for tenants, but if they are able to buy at a discount, then the funds released are unlikely to be sufficient for the housing association to build an equivalent house, given house price inflation. I would have preferred the gov. to have expanded the ‘help to buy’ scheme so that years of being a tenant with regular payment of rent could yield additional funding / support as they have the opportunity to move to a new home.

  • This works as long as a replacement housing association home is built or bought by the housing association once it’s sold the property to the tennant. You cannot let the stock of housing association homes deplete!

  • We need more council houses not less.
    Stop handing out help to buy money to people we can afford to pay hundreds of thousands of £s for what is often an investment to them, and concentrate on building more affordable homes for people who struggle to get on to the housing ladder.

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