The Right To Buy Scheme allows most social housing tenants to buy their home at a discount if they have been a tenant for three years or more. Under the Housing Bill, the ‘controversial’ Right To Buy will be extended to Housing Association tenants.

As the Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16 continues through Parliament, we asked tenants of housing associations in England if they would be interested in buying their home through the Right To Buy scheme.

The results show that over half of housing association tenants would be very or fairly interested in buying their own home through the Right to Buy scheme (51%), while 44% are not interested (5% don’t know). Interest is strong amongst those who would currently be eligible for the Right to Buy scheme, with half of those who have been a social housing tenant for 3 to 5 years interested in the scheme (50%). Similar interest is seen amongst those who have been tenants for 5 to 10 years (53%) and over 10 years (46%).

As might be expected, interest in the scheme increases with household income, with around four in ten tenants with a household income less than £15k interested in the scheme (43%), increasing to around six in ten tenants with a household income of £15k to £35K (57%) and two thirds with a household income over £35K (66%).

Readers can interrogate the data for themselves using the menu in the chart below.

We also asked all Housing Association tenants, the type of housing they would like to occupy in the next 3 to 5 years. The results reveal that just over two thirds want to remain renting from a council/housing association (68%), whilst around one in five have an aspiration to become a homeowner (19%). Smaller proportions would like to rent from a private landlord (3%), achieve shared ownership (5%) or live with friends/family (2%).

Jack Harper, Research Manager (Housing & Local Government) at BMG Research said “The findings reveal the government’s plan to extend the Right to Buy scheme would be an interesting proposition for a sizeable proportion of social housing tenants. For many, this would be the first time they would have the opportunity to purchase their home.  Given that one in five tenants aspire to become a homeowner in the next three to five years, this scheme may provide this cohort with the financial discount needed to own a property. While two thirds would like to remain social housing tenants in the next three to five years, the mix of scheme interest and ownership aspirations clearly has major implications for Housing Associations.”

A full breakdown of these polling results can be found here.

For more information, please contact Jack Harper: or 0121 333 6006.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please visit our website or get in touch by email or phone:


0121 333 6006

Jack Harper Jack Harper, Research Manager

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