CIH responds to latest right to buy sales in England
Figures released today by the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 2,558 homes were sold by councils through the right to buy scheme in England in July to September 2017, while only 744 were started or acquired to replace them using the receipts.
Since right to buy discounts were increased in April 2012, 60,423 homes have been sold, while only 14,736 have been started or acquired to replace them.
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) deputy chief executive Gavin Smart said: “The government has rightly recognised that we need more homes for the lowest social rents – but right to buy is undermining efforts to provide genuinely affordable homes for people on lower incomes. We understand that the government is trying to help people achieve their aspiration of home ownership – but if affordable homes for rent are being sold, it’s absolutely crucial that they are replaced. Just last week we saw new research which shows that more than 40 per cent of former right to buy homes are now being let privately.
"Today’s figures are further confirmation that the number of replacement homes being built is nowhere near the number being sold. Our research has shown that most councils only expect to be able to replace half or fewer of the homes they sell under right to buy. It’s always been clear that there would be a time lag between homes being sold and homes being built to replace them, but it’s now been more than five years since right to buy discounts were increased and there is mounting evidence that replacements are simply not keeping pace with the level of sales."
CIH is calling on the government to allow councils to keep all of their right to buy receipts so they can build more affordable homes, rather than being forced to hand over a proportion to the Treasury.