30 years ago today, the Housing Bill was published. The Bill gave Council house tenants, who have lived in their home for up to three years a 33% discount on the market value of their home, increasing in stages up to 50% for a tenancy of 20 years.
The Housing Act came into force on 3 October 1980, and many council tenants exercised their right-to-buy. By November 1982 the government said more than 400,000 people had bought their council homes. The right-to-buy scheme was subsequently extended to tenants in leasehold properties.
The policy proved extremely popular and was seen as a major vote winner for Mrs Thatcher in 1979 and again in 1983, although initially opposed by Labour, in 1985 Labour dropped its official opposition to the scheme. Although many local New Labour Councillors still think it was wrong. By 2003 it was estimated some 1.5 million council homes had been sold. The proof as they say!