Right to Buy depleting affordable homes
About 1.7 million people are believed to be waiting for social housing across England. Local councils and housing associations say the lack of new building is because the big discounts on sales mean they do not have the money to replace the sold-off homes like-for-like – let alone build more houses to meet rising demand.
The Government’s Right to Buy scheme is eroding Britain’s stock of affordable housing – with only one home being built for every four sold off, according to analysis of official figures by the Local Government Association (LGA). Since the scheme was relaunched in 2012, over 20,000 properties have been sold off to their tenants with discounts of up to 70% on market value.However, over the same period local councils have begun building less than 5,000 replacement homes. A spokesman for the LGA said: “The current arrangements for Right to Buy are poor value for the public purse and do not support councils to replace homes sold under the scheme like-for-like.”
Housing cap needs to be lifted
The Times carries a letter from a group of housing leaders, including David Orr, the CEO of the National Housing Federation, Baroness Jo Valentine, chairwoman of London First, Campbell Robb, CEO of Shelter, and Sir Steve Bullock, executive member for Housing at London Councils, who call on George Osborne to lift the cap on local authorities’ housing revenue accounts. They argue that doing so would allow councils and their partners to maximise the social and economic value of house building.
The Times, Page: 33 2-10-14