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Voluntary Right to Buy

Following the recent Government announcement, Your Housing Group is pleased to confirm that we are taking part in the Voluntary Right to Buy (VRtB) scheme in the Midlands along with other housing providers in this region.

The Midlands VRtB pilot will provide eligible customers living in the pilot area the opportunity to purchase their home at Right to Buy-level discounts. To support this a £200m budget has been made available by Government for eligible tenants to buy their homes.

It is anticipated the pilot will run for 2 years, subject to government funds being available.

What is the VRtB?

The Voluntary Right to Buy (VRtB) is a scheme where assured tenants of housing associations will have the chance to buy their homes discounted to the same value as council tenants enjoy under the Right to Buy.  The pilot is for “general needs” properties, which does not include supported housing or properties specifically designated for older persons such as sheltered or extra care accommodation.

It is operated on a voluntary basis by housing associations and underpinned by a national agreement between the National Housing Federation and Government.  Government is funding the discounts.  Income from sales, plus the discounts, will be spent on one-for-one replacement at a national level.

There may be some cases where Your Housing Group cannot sell a home.  As this is a voluntary scheme each participating housing provider will have its own VRtB policy outlining which homes are excluded from the pilot, the reasons why and the approach to what is called “portability.”

How do I register / apply for the VRtB?

  1. Visit the Government’s Right to Buy website at http://midlands.righttobuy.gov.uk. The gateway for registering your interest will be open from 16 August to 16 September inclusive.
  2. Complete the online form to register your interest, and to enter the ballot for a unique reference number (URN). You cannot contact us to go any further with the purchase unless you are successful in the ballot and are given a URN. To register, you will need to provide your name, full address, local authority, and the name of your landlord. You will receive an email confirming that your registration has been received.
  3. Because this is a pilot, the number of sales is strictly limited. Not everyone who enters will be able to receive a URN. Successful entrants will be selected at random through a computer ballot administered by the Government.
  4. Shortly after the ballot closes, you will receive an email from government informing you if your entry has been successful in the ballot.
  5. If successful, you will be emailed within 4 weeks with a URN, which you will need to make your application to us. Your URN will last for 4 weeks from the date of receipt. After this it will no longer work.
  6. If successful, you can apply to us, quoting your URN, to start the process of buying your home. You cannot apply to Your Housing Group unless you have a valid URN.
  7. To apply to us please contact Your Housing Group’s Commercial Transactions Team to request an application form via VRTB@yourhousinggroup.co.uk or contact us on 01925 592610. You will need to provide confirmation of your URN at this stage. 
  8. Please note that you will have to pay us a £250 administration fee. This will be refunded either when the sale is completed or if we have to turn you down because you do not meet the eligibility requirements. You will not be refunded if you decide to stop proceeding with the sale – for example, due to difficulty of raising the funds.
  9. Please note that having a URN is no guarantee that you will be able to buy your home. You as a tenant and your home must also be eligible, and you will need to have the finances available to buy your home.

Where can I find more information?

  • Government Right to Buy Websites
    righttobuy.gov.uk
    www.midlands.righttobuy.gov.uk
  • Your Housing Group’s Commercial Transactions Team - VRTB@yourhousinggroup.co.uk or contact us on 01925 592610.
  • National Housing Federation also has information that may be of use to you.

Please note the VRTB will not be available outside the Midlands Region.