“Right to buy is doomed unless we get more power, say councils”

Councils are warning that only one in every three homes being sold under the right-to-buy scheme is being replaced, as strict government rules add to the housing crisis.

Local authorities say that the right-to-buy scheme is under threat if they are not given the financial powers to build more council houses and replace homes that are sold. The LGA is calling on the Government to use the Budget later this month to allow councils to retain 100 per cent of right-to-buy receipts and have more freedom to borrow to invest. They also want flexibility to determine how they implement right-to-buy locally.

Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Housing spokesman, said: “Families around the country desperately need more affordable homes and more routes into home-ownership. A model of Right to Buy that actually allows councils to build more homes would vastly increase the opportunities for these families. Current arrangements are restricting councils from being able to replace homes being sold under the scheme. The scheme will quickly become a thing of the past in England if councils continue to be prevented from building new homes and replacing those sold. If we are to stand a real chance of solving our housing shortage, councils need the funding and powers to replace any homes sold under right to buy quickly and reinvest in building more of the genuine affordable homes our communities desperately need.”
Source: Times p13 (pay wall)

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