I have written quite a lot about the Right to Buy, most recently on 19th February 2015.
Discounts were raised in April 2012 and since then more than 26,000 social homes have been sold. Government has promised a one for one replacement for all council homes lost through Right to Buy. Last year the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said just4,795 new homes had been started by councils between April 2012 and last September using Right to Buy receipts. This is far from a one to one replacement.
This week the DCLG has admitted that the situation is far worse – that the 4,795 figure was an overestimate, and that there have been just 2,298 replacement homes.
It is not clear how the department made this error. In said that there had been ‘a substantial revision of figures by 68 local authorities’.
All this demonstrates the chasm between a politician willing something to happen in response to a policy and the reality.
Let’s end this nonsense talk of giving council houses away, and put on hold any further Right to Buy sales until there is a credible plan from the department that shows precisely how a one to one replacement will be achieved, if indeed it can be.
Perhaps a more realistic approach would be to suspend Right to Buy indefinitely.