Research has found that council homes are being sold off almost three time faster than councils are able to replace them.
FOI requests sent to 72 councils by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that more than 12,000 council houses have been sold off since 2014, to a cost of over £930m, while only 4,309 were built over the same time period.
Tim Farron MP blamed this situation on the Conservatives’ ‘Right to Buy’ policy, which he labelled as a “Conservative ideological crusade.”
Mr Farron said of the findings:
“the Government talked a lot about replacing council housing one for one but this has been shown to be utter fantasy…Thousands of council houses are being sold off by the Tories never to be replaced. This is devastating our social housing stock and robbing many families of a safety net.”
In a somewhat technically worded response, a spokesman from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) denied the Government promised to replace every Right to Buy sale.
The spokesman said it was ‘only additional sales’ above the original forecasted baseline that should be replaced one for one, adding it was up to councils to use the receipts from Right to Buy sales for new homes.
“Every additional home sold under the reinvigorated Right to Buy scheme must be replaced by additional home. Local authorities should deliver these additional affordable homes within 3 years, and so far they have achieved this.”