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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Councils replacing only one-in-six homes sold under Right To Buy

Councils have started replacing just one sixth of the number of homes sold under Right To Buy in England in the past year according to new figures.

The Local Government Association claims that councils keep only a third of income from sold RTB homes, with additional restrictions on what and how can be spent - with the upshot, the LGA claims, that far fewer homes are built than those sold. 

Latest figures show 12,246 council homes were sold to tenants under RTB in England in 2015/16 but just 2,055 replacements were started by councils – a drop of 27 per cent on the year before.

The LGA forecasts that 66,000 council homes will be sold to tenants under the existing RTB scheme by 2020 and fear councils will struggle to replace the majority of these homes.

The association warns that this drop in the number of council homes will exacerbate the housing crisis, increase homelessness and housing benefit spending at a time when there are 1.4m people on council housing waiting lists.

Council leaders are also calling on government to make the forced sale of high value council homes voluntary and to allow them to keep 100 per cent of those receipts so that they can build new ones. 

In recent weeks, the government in Scotland has scrapped Right To Buy, while the Welsh government says it is bringing forward legislation to end the policy in 2017. 

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