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Chris Chope MP (Conservative, Christchurch) yesterday called on the Government to include a specific definition of affordable rent to buy in the NPPF during his Ten Minute Rule Bill introduced to the House of Commons. The motion read:

“That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision for affordable home ownership; to require the inclusion of rent to buy homes in the definition of affordable housing; to make provision for a minimum proportion of new affordable housing to be available on affordable rent to buy terms; to provide relief from stamp duty when an affordable rent to buy home is purchased; and for connected purposes.”

After highlighting the difficulty of saving for a deposit and the population’s continued desire for home ownership, Mr Chope outlined:

“The proposals in the Affordable Home Ownership Bill should therefore be particularly appealing to the Government—not least because they do not add to the nation’s debt, but rely instead on ensuring that some of the land set aside under section 106 planning agreements for affordable housing is earmarked for homes built for affordable rent to buy.” 

Mr Chope went on to outline the affordable rent to buy model, quoting directly from the briefing, and highlighted the potential investment available. He then explained that this is subject to one caveat: 

“Currently, affordable rent to buy does not come clearly within the definition of affordable housing, and the Bill requires that it should so do. There needs to be an explicit reference to affordable rent to buy in the national planning policy framework definition of affordable housing. Such clarity would enable many more local authorities to take forward these innovative schemes.”

Chris Chope read the full suggested definition by Rentplus and called on the Housing Minister to embrace it. He finished by arguing that the Bill “should enjoy the support of everybody in this House because it works with the grain of public opinion and would enable more people to reach their aspiration of becoming home owners in the United Kingdom.”

It was supported by a number of Conservative MPs:

  • Gary Streeter (South West Devon)
  • Derek Thomas (St Ives)
  • Craig Tracey (North Warwickshire)
  • Philip Hollobone (Kettering)
  • Ranil Jayawardena (North East Hampshire)
  • Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay)
  • Robert Halfon (Harlow)
  • Philip Davies (Shipley)
  • Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough)
  • Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West)

The full transcript is available at: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-10-24/debates/82B08866-A401-47A1-9C84-1CB538EC3A1C/AffordableHomeOwnership

Chris Chope’s supporting article for ConHome is available at: https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2017/10/chris-chope-changing-the-rules-on-rent-to-buy-would-unlock-billions-in-private-investment.html

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