Government admits falling behind on Right to Buy replacement pledges

The Government has admitted falling short on its commitment to replace council housing units sold under the Right to Buy scheme.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron tried to shore up the controversial scheme in 2012 by enhancing the discounts council tenants could get to buy their own homes and by promising a replacement for each home sold as a result of these discounts within three years of the sale.

But new data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows there have been 17,072 Right to Buy sales in the three-year period since the 2012 announcement, but just 15,981 affordable units started or acquired by local authorities between 2012 and the end of 2017.

A note in the Government report said: “There were 17,072 additional sales between 2012-13 Q1 and 2014-15 Q3.

“There have been 15,981 additional affordable units started or acquired by local authorities, the Homes England and Greater London Authority between 2012-13 Q1 and 2017-18 Q3. Thereby falling short of the three-year replacement commitment.”

The data also shows a drop in Right to Buy sales at the end of last year, falling 19% annually to 2,815 between October and December 2017.

The figures will heap pressure on the Government amid its pledge to boost the housing market, particularly in England, as Scotland has already scrapped Right to Buy and Wales said it will follow suit.

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