Housing

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 16th January 2015.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many houses have been built under the Government's proposal to replace every house sold under its right to buy arrangements; and how many houses have been sold under those arrangements.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

This Government have committed to re-invest, for the first time ever, the additional receipts from Right to Buy sales in new affordable rented housing. Our aim, across England as a whole, is to deliver a new home for each additional home sold under the reinvigorated Right to Buy.

The one-for-one replacement policy applies to additional local authority sales, that is sales above the level forecast before the reinvigoration of the policy in April 2012. Since the reinvigoration, local authorities have sold 14,700 additional sales, and over 4,795 dwellings have already been started on site or acquired.

There will be a time lag between the Right to Buy sale, and the planning and construction of the new build home, but the replacement timetable is in control of the local authority. If a council were to fail to spend the receipts within three years, it would be required to return the unspent money to Government with interest. This provides a strong financial incentive for any slow-coach councils to use this new funding and get on with building more homes for local people.

Since 2010, a total of 217,000 new affordable homes have been delivered in England. Council house building is now at a 23 year high; almost twice as much council housing has been built under this Government, than in all of the 13 years combined of the last Labour Government.

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