Right-to-Buy Scheme

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 29 June 2015.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Labour, Cambridge 2:30, 29 June 2015

What the replacement rate of council homes sold through the right-to-buy scheme has been since 2012.

Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth

What the replacement rate of council homes sold through the right-to-buy scheme has been since 2012.

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Local authorities have three years from the date of sale of each home to replace the property. In the first year following the reinvigoration of the right to buy, there were 3,053 additional sales. Within two years—by the end of 2014-15—3,337 replacements were started or acquired.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Labour, Cambridge

I recall that at the start of the previous Parliament one-for-one replacement was promised, but across the country the actual figure has cracked out at one for 10, and in my city it is one for nine. Why should anyone believe these assurances now?

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

I welcome the hon. Gentleman to the House. He must not have listened to my answer, because I said that there were 3,053 additional sales and 3,337 replacements, which is more than one for one.

Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth

The Institute for Fiscal Studies, Moody’s, the National Housing Association and the CBI, to name but a few, have raised concerns about the Government’s right-to-buy proposals. What assessment has the Secretary of State made of the impact of those proposals on the financial viability of housing associations and, in turn, their ability to build new affordable housing?

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

The impact of the policy will be to extend the aspiration of people across this country to own their own home, because 86% of people want to do so, and there is no difference between the aspirations of housing association tenants, council tenants and people who own their own home. That is the impact we are achieving through the policy.

Photo of John Cryer John Cryer Labour, Leyton and Wanstead

Does the Secretary of State expect the replacement of housing association homes that are sold off to be the same as, above or below the rate for council homes previously sold off?

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

As my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning made clear, the requirement will be one-for-one replacement. With regard to council house sales, replacement of more than one for one has already been achieved for the first year.