Back in 2015, English Rural’s then Chief Executive, Adrian Maunders wrote to partners and parish councillors, thanking them for their support in campaigning to highlight the disproportionate impact that the proposed Right to Buy extension to housing association tenants would have on rural communities.
In his letter, Adrian Maunders stated ‘I am now pleased to be able to advise you that due to a voluntary agreement reached between the Government and the National Housing Federation (NHF) (the housing associations’ trade body) the existing statutory exclusion from the RTB of English Rural’s properties will continue. This positive outcome is in my view, at least in part due to the widespread representations made, including by rural parish councils like your own.’
Explaining the position of the voluntary deal reached, he went on to say ‘There is much detail of the voluntary RTB agreement yet to be worked out, but I wanted to let you know as soon as possible that the rural affordable homes developed by English Rural in your parish will continue to be excluded from the RTB and therefore secured for future generations. Tenants of properties excluded from the RTB who wish to exercise a RTB will be assisted to buy elsewhere and take the discount which they would have received, but for the exclusion, to help them buy an alternative property, possibly from another housing association.’
Along with other rural advocates, English Rural has supported the request to incorporate as broader protection for rural areas, which is being presented through the Rural Housing Alliance as part of current negotiations with the National Housing Federation.