William Eichler 28 June 2017

Right to Buy ‘devastating’ social housing stock, new figures reveal

Council homes are being sold off almost three times faster than local authorities can replace them, research reveals.

Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to 72 councils found more than 12,000 council houses have been sold off since 2014, to a cost of over £930m, while only 4,309 were built over the same time period.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron — whose party issued the FoI requests — blamed this on Right to Buy, a policy he described as a ‘Conservative ideological crusade’.

‘The Government talked a lot about replacing council housing one for one but this has been shown to be utter fantasy,’ Mr Farron said.

‘Thousands of council houses are being sold off by the Tories never to be replaced. This is devastating our social housing stock and robbing many families of a safety net.’

A spokesman from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) denied the Government promised to replace every Right to Buy sale.

They said it was ‘only additional sales’ above the original forecasted baseline that should be replaced one for one, adding it was up to councils to use the receipts from Right to Buy sales for new homes.

‘Every additional home sold under the reinvigorated Right to Buy scheme must be replaced by an additional home,’ said the spokesperson.

‘Local authorities should deliver these additional affordable homes within 3 years, and so far they have achieved this.’

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