The Local Government Association has warned of the dangers being posed to social housing stock, with houses that are purchased the Right to Buy scheme not being replaced.
According to new analysis from the LGA, England’s housing stock is set to lose another 57,000 homes by the end of the 2020s thanks to the Right to Buy scheme not being matched by funding to help councils replace properties. The report estimated that 100,000 are to be sold through the RTB scheme, with only 43,000 being replaced. This is mainly due to the increasing discounts for the purchase of Right to Buy homes leaving councils cash-strapped.
Available discounts were increased in 2012, leading to the average discount has risen by 150% in 2021/22. Due to this, the number of RTB sales has quadrupled. From April this year, the discounts will increase by another 10% which is only set to further the problems being faced by councils.
Due to this, the Local Government Association is calling on the government to use the spring budget to give councils the power to set their own local discounts and retain 100% of sales receipts,. Which would go some way to helping them recoup some of the costs of replacing sold homes.
Councillor David Renard, housing spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said:
“Councils want to urgently help people on council housing waiting list and stuck in temporary accommodation.
“It is becoming impossible for councils to replace homes as quickly as they’re being sold as they are being left with nowhere near enough money to provide replacements. Rising RTB discounts mean that one household’s home ownership is increasingly being prioritised over another’s access to secure, safe, social housing.
“RTB can enable families to get on the housing ladder and own their own home, but every home sold isn’t replaced risks pushing more families into the private rented sector, driving up housing benefit spending and rents, along with exacerbating our homelessness crisis.
“Our new analysis shows RTB will quickly become a thing of the past in England if councils continue to be prevented from replacing sold homes. Councils urgently need the funding and powers to replace any homes sold under RTB quickly and reinvest in building more of the genuine affordable homes our communities desperately need.”