Third of councils 'not replaced any Right to Buy homes sold'


One in three councils has not replaced a single house sold through the Right to Buy scheme, official data has found.

With separate analysis suggesting as many as 113,000 council homes will need to be sold off to fund the scheme, some fear it will leave many areas bereft of affordable housing.

Analysis of provisional figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) showed that, of the 166 councils in England listed as having sold properties through Right to Buy since 2012, 33% had not replaced a single home.

Just one council in 12 (8%) had managed to build enough to replace half their stock, and only two had succeeded in replacing more than 100% of those sold.

In total, it means just one home has been built for every nine sold.

This is in stark contrast to the Government's pledge of a like-for-like replacement.

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb warned the problem was only likely to get worse, leaving some areas with no affordable homes.

"At this rate they'll soon be black-spots across the country where no-one on a normal income can afford to live," he said.

Local Government Association housing spokesman Peter Box said many councils were being hampered by complex rules and restrictions.

He added: "There are millions of people on council waiting lists and local authorities are keen to get on with the job of building the new homes that people in their areas desperately need.

"Councils are restricted from replacing homes by complex rules and restrictions on the use of receipts from sales with almost two thirds of councils only expected to replace half or fewer of homes sold under the Right to Buy.

"It is imperative that councils are given the powers to replace housing sold through Right to Buy quickly and effectively as part of the Spending Review.

"Councils need to be able to retain 100% of receipts from sales while Right to Buy discounts should be set locally so they reflect the cost of houses in the area.

We estimate this would allow councils to replace 50,000 homes sold over the lifetime of the next Parliament."

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "We want to ensure that anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home, has the opportunity to do so - and nearly 40,000 new homeowners have been created since Right to Buy was reinvigorated in 2012.

"Councils are continuing to fulfil the requirement to deliver one for one replacements within 3 years, and over 3,000 replacement homes have already been delivered across England.

"We have been absolutely clear that if councils do not deliver one for one replacements for the additional homes sold under Right to Buy, the Government will."

:: Here are the 10 councils that have replaced the most homes:

1. North Kesteven 187%

2. New Forest 128%

3. Waverley 89%

4. Barking and Dagenham 88%

5. Winchester 81%

6. Ipswich 80%

7. Tandridge 79%

8. Castle Point 71%

9. Hounslow 64%

10. South Cambridgeshire 59%

Here are the 10 that have replaced the fewest homes - discounting the one third of councils who did not replace any:

1. Dudley 0.4%

2. Sutton 1.0%

3. Barnet 1.1%

4. Basildon 1.2%

5. Mid Suffolk 1.4%

6. Kirklees 1.5%

7. Southend-on-Sea 1.5%

8. Ashfield 1.7%

9. Hammersmith and Fulham 1.8%

10. Redditch 1.8%