Only one-in-ten council homes sold off under the Government’s Right To Buy policy has been replaced by a new one, new figures show.
The shortfall comes despite a promise from the Government that every home sold would get a replacement.
Between April and June 2015 2,779 homes were sold by councils through scheme in England, but only 307 were started or acquired using the money raised.
This amounts to a roughly 11 per cent replacement rate for the quarter. Over the last year to June 12,235 homes were sold and 1,842 started to replace them.
In June sales under Right To Buy hit a seven-year high, with London alone account for over a third of all sales.
Right To Buy homes are very likely to end up being rented out to tenants at a profit by private landlords, with around 40 per cent of homes sold under the scheme now in their hands, according to research released last month.
Gavin Smart, the deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said the Government was “nowhere near” doing what it said it would do.
“We understand the government’s aim to encourage people to become home owners, but we’re very concerned about the loss of social rented homes at a time when more and more people are in need of affordable housing,” he said.
“Today’s figures make it clear that the number of replacement homes being built is nowhere near the number being sold.”
It has been more than three years since Right To Buy discounts were increased and the Government pledged to make one-for-one replacements of every home sold.
“A revitalised right to buy will unleash a new generation of home ownership and ensure every home sold is replaced," the communities department claimed in 2011.
What does five more years of the Tories mean for Britain?
What does five more years of the Tories mean for Britain?
1/8 Welfare payments will be slashed
One of the most controversial parts of the Conservative manifesto was to cut benefits for the working age poor by £12 bn over the next three years. But during the campaign they only said where £2 bn of these savings would come from. That leaves £10 bn still to find. Some experts think the only way they can close that gap is by means testing child benefit – with millions of families losing out
2/8 There will be tax cuts for those in work and those who die
The Tories will increase the threshold at which the 40p rate of tax becomes payable to £50,000 by 2020. They haven’t said so but it is also likely that at some point in the next five years they will abolish that 45p rate of tax altogether for the highest earners. They also want to increase the effective inheritance tax threshold for married couples and civil partners to £1m
3/8 There will be an in/out EU referendum in 2017
The next two years are going to be dominated by the prospect of a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. First off David Cameron has the daunting task of negotiating a deal with other EU leaders an acceptable deal that he can sell to his party so he can go into the referendum campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote. This may be unachievable and it is possible that the Tories may end up arguing to leave. Opinion polls show Britain is divided on EU membership, one poll this year showed 51% said they would opt to leave compared to 49% who would vote to stay in
4/8 There will be more privatisation of the NHS
Having won the election the Tories now have a mandate to go further and faster reforming the NHS. In order to make cost savings there is likely to be greater private involvement in running services, while some smaller hospitals may lose services they currently provide like A&E and maternity units
5/8 There will be many more free schools – and traditional state schools will become a thing of the past
The Tories plans to create 500 new free schools and make 3,000 state schools become academies. They will also carry on reforming the Department of Education and remove more powers from local authorities over how schools are run
6/8 On shore wind farms will be a thing of the past and fracking will be the future
Government spending on renewable energy is under real threat now the Lib Dems are no longer in power with the Tories. Subsidies are likely to be slashed for off-shore wind farm and other green energy supplies. Meanwhile there will be generous tax break for fracking as ministers try and incentivise the industry to drill for onshore oil and gas
7/8 There maybe more free childcare – but not necessarily
In the campaign the Tories pledged to double the amount of free early education for three- and four-year-olds from 15 hours a week to 30. The extra hours would only be offered to working families where parents are employed for at least eight hours a week. However they have not said where the money will come from to fund the pledge
8/8 Workers' rights could be reduced
The Tories want to slash business regulation, merge regulator and cut costs. The Lib Dems stopped them from reducing the employment rights of workers in power – but these are now under threat
“For the first time, every additional home that is sold will be replaced by a new affordable home on a one-for-one basis,” Grant Shapps, then housing minister, promised.
“The new homes for affordable rent will help get the nation building again, and help councils meet housing need.”
The Government has also said it will extend Right To Buy to the tenants of housing associations, despite the threat of a legal challenge from some.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that the new policy would result in higher levels of debt and fewer affordable homes across the UK.
The Office for National Statistics also noted that the policy could lead to the reclassification of housing association debt as government debt, which would dramatically increased the national debt by billions in nominal terms.
The Independent contacted the Department for Communities and local government for comment on this story.Reuse content