First Right to Buy sale in the borough

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First Right to Buy sale in the borough

Wednesday November 7, 2012


Above: Tarek Tuzani (left) and his partner Laura Stevens (right) with Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing (centre)

A Hammersmith couple have become the first people in the borough to buy their home with a £75,000 Right to Buy extended discount.

Tarek Tuzani and his partner Laura Stevens have taken advantage of the revamped scheme to purchase their former council flat in Standish House, St Peter’s Grove.

In May 2012, the couple, who have an 18 month-old daughter, were became the first people in the country to apply to buy their home through the revamped scheme.

The Government has recently increased the maximum discount that council tenants can receive if they wish to buy their own home from £16,000 to £75,000.

And that has seem a surge of interest in Hammersmith & Fulham with over 700 people attending the council’s Right to Buy roadshows and more than 300 people applying for the scheme.

Tarek, 32, was quickest off the block and is delighted that he has now found his way onto the housing ladder.

He said: “I am thrilled to own the flat and it is a wonderful feeling to know that it is finally all mine. The £75,000 was an incredible help – without it would have taken me many more years to save for the deposit.

“Laura and I felt especially proud when we opened the front door for the first time as owners of the property. It is a big relief to finally be on the property ladder after what seemed an age. The future seems a lot more secure knowing we finally own a home.

“The process took around six months in total. The council’s Home Buy team were a pleasure to deal with but thinks did drag a little with the legal side of things.

“I would certainly recommend Right to Buy to other council tenants who want to buy their property – it really is a no-brainer.”

Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing, said: “This borough has the fourth most expensive housing in the country which means that many honest, hard-working people, just like Tarek and Laura, are unable to get onto the property ladder without a kick-start.

“The extended Right to Buy discount means that homeownership has now become a viable proposition for hundreds, if not thousands of our tenants. There is absolutely no doubt that owning your own home gives you a sense of pride and a sense of empowerment.

“Hammersmith & Fulham is a borough of housing opportunity with home ownership at its core and it is always fantastic to see young people like Tarek and Laura able to make that all-important first step onto the housing ladder.”

Right to Buy has helped thousands of council tenants in H&F to buy their own home since it launched over 30 years ago, but completions under the scheme all but collapsed when the maximum discount in the capital was reduced in 2004 from £38,000 to £16,000. The move led to a slump from 245 Right to Buy sales in 2004/2005 to only seven in H&F last year.

If you are interested in finding out about Right to Buy in Hammersmith and Fulham email h&fhome-buy@lbhf.gov.uk or telephone 020 8753 6464.

To qualify, residents must meet certain criteria. For example the tenant must have been living in the property for at least five years. The property must also be the tenant’s only or principal home. Other conditions apply.

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