Ministers ‘breaking promise over new council homes’

 

The Government is breaking its promise to ensure that a new council house or flat is built to replace every one sold to tenants, official figures have revealed.

When the Coalition announced a new Right To Buy drive, ministers pledged to ensure that there was no net loss of council housing. But so far the Government’s own statistics suggest that building work on only one new property has been started for every seven local authority homes sold to tenants.

In the 2012-13 financial year and in the year to date, 10,954 council homes have been sold under the scheme, but only 1,662 replacements were started in the same period.

Emma Reynolds, Labour’s spokeswoman on housing, told The Independent: “David Cameron has broken his promise to replace badly needed council homes. Labour supports those who want to buy their own homes but there are nearly two million families on council waiting lists desperate for a home and this Government is failing to live up to its promise to replace every home sold with a new home built. It just goes to show you can’t trust Tory promises to tackle the housing crisis.”

Discounts to tenants were increased last year as the Conservatives sought to revive the vote-winning policy launched by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. Grant Shapps, the then housing minister who is now Conservative Party Chairman, said: “Right to Buy was a fantastic, liberating policy which assists where people are hardworking and aspire to own their own home. However it was a mistake then [in the 1980s] and would be now not to replace the homes that are sold off. There will be no net loss of housing – this is a one for one policy.”

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “The Right to Buy helps hard-working people get on to the housing ladder. Every additional home sold will be replaced with a new affordable home. Of course, there will be a slight time-lag, simply because it takes time for the new home to be built.”

On Sunday Labour renewed its promise to double housebuilding to at least 200,000 homes a year by 2020 if it wins the next election. “We’d like to do more,” Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. “We’ve got the lowest level of housebuilding since the 1920s. We’ve got to build homes, get people back to work, and then make housing affordable for people again. We are going to have to have some vision – some new towns, some garden cities. We did it in the Forties and after the Second World War. We need to do that again.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Learning Support Assistant

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Learning Support Assistant - Newport

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz