Responding to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on Housing Associations and Right to Buy, Cllr Peter Box, Housing spokesman at the Local Government Association, said “Councils want to help the Government shift spending from benefits to bricks and support measures to help people into home ownership but we agree with the Committee that the Right to Buy extension to housing association tenants should absolutely not be funded by forcing councils to sell off their homes.
“As a minimum, we forecast councils would be forced to sell 22,000 ‘high value’ homes in order to fund plans to extend the Right to Buy scheme. This number could be much higher depending on how government chooses to define ‘high value’. Councils should always be free to manage their assets to meet the needs of local communities and must retain 100 per cent of all receipts.
“New housing measures, such as the loss of £2.2 billion from council housing budgets by 2020 as a result of social housing rent cuts, risk making building any replacements all but impossible. This loss of social rented housing risks pushing more families into the private rented sector, driving up housing benefit spending and rents and making it more difficult for families to save the deposit needed for their first house.
“Rather than funding the sale of affordable homes by selling other affordable homes, the Government should fund the Right to Buy extension by working with councils to raise £13 billion by building more homes on public land. This is more than enough to fund the extension over the long-term and would protect vital council investment in the genuinely affordable homes our communities so desperately need.”