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Comment from a reader

Never thought I would agree with Shelter but I think they are dead right on this one. Pushing more social housing into private hands will just reduce the number of social homes available for the poorer members of society to rent, people who could not afford to buy anything even at a huge discount. It is estimated that around 40% of houses sold under existing right to buy schemes end up in the PRS after a few years. There may be many reasons for this, some homes may be sold due to bereavement, mortgage companies are not as tolerant of arrears as Councils and may evict, there is also the possibility of “fronting” schemes where a home is essentially bought by others to be sold on later at a profit while the existing tenant goes back into the social or into the PRS sector with their share of the profits.
Schemes of this sort are also not fair for those who cannot get or do not qualify for social housing or those who are in the PRS or still living with parents trying to save hard to buy a place of their own, with no huge discounts available for them.
None of these schemes will solve the housing crisis. It is estimated (Citymonitor) that to meet the existing backlog and future population growth we need at least 340,000 homes per year over the next 15 years and that 40% of them (136,000/yr) should be affordable in some way (social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership). Currently we build only around 40,000 affordable homes a year so the housing crisis will just continue.