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Authorities renting back ex-council homes

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A number of London councils are renting back 36% of the homes sold under the Right to Buy scheme.

According to research carried out by Labour Politician Tom Copley, some London councils are renting back 52,000 homes from the former tenants who bought them under the Right to Buy scheme, and subsequently letting them out at higher rates to council tenants, many of whom receive housing benefit.

Copley is calling for the system to be reformed so that Right to Buy properties cannot be let in the private sector, and so that councils retain ownership of a share in any property sold under the scheme.

However, the government said the current system has helped to create more ‘affordable’ housing.

Copley said:

“This shows that Right to Buy currently represents incredibly poor value for money to taxpayers. Not only did they pay to build the home in the first place, they then subsidised the considerable discounts offered to tenants and then missed out on the rental income that would have covered the build costs.

“Now, we have the indignity of London boroughs renting back their former council homes at higher market rent levels, once again costing taxpayers through the nose.”

A statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government said:

“Under our reinvigorated Right to Buy scheme, every additional home sold will be replaced by a new affordable home to rent.

“Of course, the original home may be sold on or rented out down the line, yet there is clear benefit as our scheme helps reduce social waiting lists and increases the overall housing stock both across London and across the country.”


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