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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

CIH responds to new social housing sales figures for England


Figures released today by the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 23,186 social housing dwellings were sold in 2016-17 in England, up five per cent compared to 2015-16. There were 13,652 sales by local authorities and 9,534 by housing associations. Total right to buy sales were 18,110.

Gavin Smart, deputy chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), said: “Social rent is the only truly affordable option for many people on lower incomes. These figures emphasise just how much further we need to go to make sure we have enough social rented homes available – today’s statistics show that 23,186 social homes were sold in 2016-17, while figures released earlier this month revealed that the number of new social rented homes delivered dropped to 5,380, down from 39,560 in 2010/11.

Our analysis shows that almost 250,000 homes for social rent could be lost between 2012 and 2020. Theresa May’s recent announcement of an extra £2 billion investment in affordable housing was a very welcome first step towards reversing this trend, but yesterday’s Budget was light on measures that could make a real difference to improving affordability. If the government is going to meet its new target to deliver 300,000 homes a year, councils will have to play a major part. The chancellor’s decision to relax borrowing caps for councils in high demand areas is very positive, but we hope to see the government build on this move so that we see a return to the levels of council house building we need. Ministers could also take action to help councils build more homes to replace those sold through right to buy, by allowing them to keep 100 per cent of the receipts for example.”

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