Sir Mike Penning calls for review of £77,000 limit on discounts for Right to Buy which just does not work in areas in the south-east.
Unemployment in Hemel Hempstead is at the lowest level it has ever been since the new town was built, so we would think that there would be more right to buy in the case of the 18,000 council houses that we still have in the stock. Unfortunately, though, because there is a £77,000 limit on the amount of discount we can get, people working in the local community—nurses and firemen—cannot afford mortgages as the properties are very highly priced. Can we look at the £77,000 limit, particularly in the south-east, because it just not does work for right to buy?
As my right hon. Friend will know, home ownership is extremely important to the Government, as it is to him. Affordability is an issue in areas such as his, on the fringe of the capital. We have kept right-to-buy discount under review, and it was reinvigorated back in 2012, to address the issue that he raises. I urge him to speak to his local council, to explore other ways within the affordable housing envelope to address that issue. If he had been at questions last time, he would have heard a very good question from my hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Kevin Hollinrake) about discounted market sales, which may well be a route to ownership for many people.