Government’s own stats ‘add up to the end of Right To Buy’

CIH renews attack on Right To Buy as MHCLG confirms a 32% fall in starts or acquisitions from Oct-Dec last year.

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CIH says the government’s own statistics add up to the end of Right To Buy, with councils selling 2,645 dwellings under the scheme from October to December last year – and only 1,038 replacements started on site or acquired.

The MHCLG stats confirm a 9.4% increase in sales on the previous quarter and a 32% fall in starts or acquisitions.

CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat CBE said the stats confirmed CIH’s view that the wider costs of Right To Buy exceed its benefits.

“With far more homes being sold than replaced, Right To Buy is significantly reducing the number of badly needed affordable homes available,” she said.

Our research last year showed that more than 150,000 of the most affordable rented homes have been lost across England in just five years and predicted that loss will reach nearly 200,000.”

While quarterly Right To Buy sales are yet to match the pre-financial crisis level, the number of sales in the last quarter of 2018 is around four times higher than in the year before reinvigoration of the Right To Buy, with increased discounts in April 2012.

In October last year, CIH produced analysis showing that Right To Buy discounts had climbed to £1bn a year, costing local authorities £300m a year.

According to CIH’s calculations, reducing discounts by just a third could free up enough funds to deliver an extra 12,000 homes a year.

Since the reinvigoration of Right To Buy, 75,618 homes have been sold, while just 21,890 homes have been started or acquired to replace them.

“With homelessness and rough sleeping dramatically increasing, we cannot afford to lose so many of our most affordable homes.

“This is why CIH is urging the government to suspend the scheme and invest the savings in more homes for social rent – which is often the only truly affordable option for people on lower incomes.

“We need to look at fairer ways to help tenants into home ownership, because this is clearly not the way to do it,” Alafat said.

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