Voluntary Right to Buy: briefing on the key principles of the agreement

This briefing explains the original principles set out in the Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB) agreement with the Government, including housing associations’ discretion over sales, full compensation, and flexible one for one replacements.

5 April 2016

The VRTB proposal was agreed by the Government in October 2015, allowing housing associations to extend Right to Buy discounts to their tenants by way of a voluntary agreement rather than legislation. This agreement is based on four key principles:

  • Right to Buy discounts for housing association tenants: housing association tenants would have the right to purchase a home at Right to Buy level discounts.
  • Board control over which homes to sell: housing associations will have the final decision about whether to sell an individual property, with the presumption that they will sell a tenant their current home where they can.
  • Full compensation: housing associations will get the full market value of the properties sold, with the value of the discount funded by the Government.
  • Flexible one for one replacement: nationally, for every home sold under the agreement, a new affordable property would be built thereby increasing overall supply. The type and location will be flexible to their needs.

This briefing covers each of these four principles in detail.