Council house sales falling in Redbridge, figures show

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 July 2019

Council house sales have fallen in Redbridge over the last year. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/PA Images

Council house sales have fallen in Redbridge over the last year. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Fewer council houses are being sold under Right to Buy in Redbridge, new figures reveal.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show that Redbridge Council sold 20 council homes under the Right to Buy scheme in 2018-19.

It was down from 53 in the previous year.

The council earned £2.71million from the sale of the homes - meaning a net loss of zero.

That's the same number of homes bought or started to be built by the council in 2018-19, keeping the council home stock at the same level.

Right to Buy was implemented by the Conservative government in 1980, to help council tenants buy their homes at a discount.

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A Local Government Association spokeswoman said: "The loss of social housing means that we are spending more and more on housing benefit to supplement expensive rents, instead of investing in genuinely affordable homes.

"The government must go beyond the limited measures announced so far, scrap the housing borrowing cap, and enable all councils across the country to borrow to build once more. We have long called for reforms to devolve the Right to Buy scheme so that councils can set discounts locally and retain 100per cent of their receipts to invest in more homes locally."

Cabinet member for housing and homelessness Cllr Farah Hussain said: "Whilst the drop is to be welcomed, we can ill afford to lose a single genuinely affordable property in Redbridge because we already have far fewer council homes than most London boroughs.

"Let's not forget that once these council homes are sold, they are lost forever to the families of the borough who are on our waiting list and desperately need a home.

"The government needs to reform Right to Buy, which includes ensuring councils retain all of the receipts so they can re-invest in much needed social housing."

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "Right to Buy has helped people who wouldn't otherwise have been able to afford to buy. Sadly, we're still building far fewer homes than we're selling off."

She added: "There's an obvious solution - build more social homes and ensure those sold are always replaced."

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