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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Government says 36,000 Right To Buy sales in three years

The government claims that over 36,000 new home owners have been created through Right to Buy since 2012.

Figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government show that - by contrast - 3,357 new home starts and acquisitions have been made over the same period. That’s under 10 per cent of the number sold. 

“We want to help anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home to turn their dream into a reality. Right to Buy is central to that vision and has already created more than 36,000 homeowners, helping generate over £2.8 billion for more affordable homes” says housing minister Brandon Lewis. 

He describes the number of starts and acquisitions - which in theory will replace those sold - as ”making good on our promise to replace council homes”.

Since Right to Buy was revamped by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in 2012, some £860m in sales receipts have been re-invested in building directly - this has indirectly leveraged a further £2 billion of investment, making the £2.8 billion total. 

Lewis says council house building starts are now at a 23 year high and almost twice as many council homes have been built in the last four years than from 1997 to 2009. 

Since 2010, nearly 200,000 people have bought or reserved a new home through government-backed schemes, including Right to Buy.

In the three months to March 2015, some 3,321 people bought their homes under Right to Buy. Local authorities received approximately £261 million from Right to Buy sales, seven per cent higher than the £243 million in the same quarter of 2013 to 2014. Total sales through Right to Buy for 2014 to 2015 were 12,304 compared to 11,261 in 2013 to 2014.

Tenants can benefit from a discount of up to £77,900 outside of London and £103,900 in the capital – they need to have been in council housing for three years before being eligible for the scheme.

In total, more than 260,000 new affordable homes have been delivered in England since 2010.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Brandon Lewis, where have you been hiding? Finally, a comment from the housing minister - this deserves a celebration!

    If you believe the Tories we don't have a housing shortage and everything is just fine and dandy with house-building in this country. RTB is a brilliant scheme, don't you know? People buy their own properties. Then, a few years down the line when they can't afford the mortgage repayments anymore, they sell it off to some rich buy-to-letter, a chum of one of the Cabinet most probably, who then rents it out as an extortionate rate in the PRS. Rinse and repeat. Social housing stock is reduced, those who most need it have to scrape by in sub-standard private accommodation. The whole thing's rotten, it really is.

    No-one, absolutely no-one, thinks RTB is a good idea or the solution to the supply/demand imbalance. Lewis is towing the party line very well - I thought he was better than that - but even he knows it's unworkable, especially in London.

    He says the sales receipts have been reinvested in building projects - any figures on this? How much of this new stock is affordable/social housing? Or is it just going to wealthy investors keen to expand their portfolio?

    £2.8 billion, all sounds well and good, but what is actually being done with it? The phrase you can't polish a turd fits perfectly here, but the Tories will power on with their ideological madness until supply is diminished completely.

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