Right to Buy is creating affordable homes. | AVRillo

Right to Buy is creating affordable homes.

Monday 29 June 2015  / Ruth Montia

Recent figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government show that over 36,000 new home owners have been created through Right to Buy since 2012.

By contrast, only 3,357 new home starts and acquisitions have been made over the same period. That’s under 10% of the number sold.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis says “We want to help anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home to turn their dream into a reality. Right to Buy is central to that vision and has already created more than 36,000 homeowners, helping generate over £2.8 billion for more affordable homes”. Since 2010, the government-backed schemes, including Right to Buy have helped nearly 200,000 people to buy or reserve a new home.

Lewis describes the number of starts and acquisitions – which in theory should replace those sold, as making good on our promise to replace council homes.

Since Right to Buy was given a makeover by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in 2012, some £860m in sales receipts have been re-invested in building directly. This has indirectly leveraged a further £2 billion of investment, making the £2.8 billion total.

Lewis believes council house building starts are now at a 23 year high and almost twice as many council homes have been built in the last four years than 1997 to 2009.

From January to March 2015, some 3,321 people bought their homes under Right to Buy. Local authorities received approximately £261 million from Right to Buy sales, a 7% increase than the £243 million in the same quarter of 2013 to 2014. Total sales through Right to Buy for 2014 to 2015 were 12,304 compared to 11,261 in 2013 to 2014.

Tenants can benefit from a discount of up to £77,900 outside of London and £103,900 in the capital, but they need to have been in council housing for three years before being eligible for the scheme. So in total, more than 260,000 new affordable homes have been delivered in England since 2010. This is an excellent development and will benefit so many families.