Greg Hands: Good news for Housing Association tenants families in Chelsea and Fulham, who will have the right to buy their home thanks to the Conservatives

The next Conservative Government will extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants - which will allow up to 1.3 million families to have the security that comes with owning your own home, says Greg Hands, the Conservative Candidate for Chelsea and Fulham.

The Right to Buy scheme gives something back to families who have worked hard, paid their rent, and played by the rules. It allows them to do up their home, change their front door, improve their garden - knowing that it belongs to them. It can give people a greater sense of pride and ownership not just in their home, but also in their street and neighbourhood.

The Conservative government in the 1980s gave the tenants of council houses and flats the right to buy their home at a discounted price. As a result, over two million have been able to get a foot on the housing ladder and fulfil the dream of owning their own home. They have been able to invest in an asset which they can pass on to their children and enjoy the security and peace of mind that home ownership brings.

At this election, the Conservatives are committing to go a step further. The next Conservative government will extend the right to buy to tenants of housing association properties - addressing the unfairness that has meant that up to now only council house tenants could buy their home.

In our area, as many as 16,000 families could benefit from this new policy, with 12,950 housing association properties in Hammersmith and Fulham, and a further 13,300 in Kensington and Chelsea.

Crucially, homes that are sold will be replaced by new affordable homes. In addition, by requiring councils to sell their expensive council houses as they become vacant, £1 billion will be made available to bring derelict, brownfield land back into use for housing.

Greg Hands, Conservative Candidate for Chelsea and Fulham said "Many people aspire to own their own home - and the Conservatives have always understood and supported that aspiration.

"That is why we are committed to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants. This will mean up to 16,000 families in Chelsea and Fulham and neighbouring parts of West London, will have the chance to buy their home. Right to Buy has already helped over two million families get on the housing ladder since it was first launched in 1980 and now many more people will have the same opportunity.

"Our promise is simple: If you are a tenant of a housing association property which you have lived in for five years or more (soon to be reduced to three years) you will gain the right to buy your home at a discounted price. You won't need to persuade the housing association to give you permission to buy it, and they won't be able to tell you can't do it - you will have the right, backed up by law, to buy your own home.

"This is part of our commitment to back families who have worked hard, paid their rent and played by the rules. This will mean a new generation of people able to achieve their dream and enjoy the security that comes from owning your own home."

The last Labour government ran down the Right to Buy when in government. In 2003, Labour cut and capped discounts at between £16,000 and £38,000, and now Labour in Wales want to scrap Right to Buy completely.

Greg Hands added "The important thing about this policy - unlike many of Labour's - is that this is not an unfunded policy: we will use the sale of expensive council houses to fund new affordable homes and allow more brownfield land to be used for housing. Labour aren't committed to Right to Buy: it is only safe with the Conservatives.

"There is a big choice at this election for people in Chelsea and Fulham: a vote for strong leadership, a clear economic plan, and a brighter, more secure future with David Cameron and the Conservatives.

"For tenants of housing association properties the choice is even clearer: a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for the chance to own your own home. It is an investment in a better future for you and your children."