From Inside Housing:
The mayor’s ‘Right to Buy back’ initiative will provide money to enable local authorities and housing companies they own to acquire ex-council homes on the open market. Properties bought under the scheme, which must meet the Decent Homes Standard, would then be returned to social rent or used as temporary accommodation for homeless families…
The [Right to Buy] policy – which was reinvigorated in 2012 by David Cameron, with significant increases to the discounts offered to tenants – was intended to further homeownership. But research by Inside Housing has shown the extent to which that vision has been distorted, with as many as 40% of homes falling into the hands of private landlords.
How stupid and corrupt are these people? Having committed the crime of selling it off at undervalue, they are now doubling up. Two wrongs don’t make a right, they make it even wronger.
There is still plenty of publicly owned land in London on which they can build new council housing for a fraction of the cost of buying back ex-council housing. And who says it has to be in London? In the hey day of council house building, they used to build large estates aka ‘new towns’ a bit further out where the land is cheaper. Extend the rail network* to hook it up and Bob’s your uncle.
Buying back ex-council housing doesn’t even increase the amount of available housing, it just shuffles it between categories.
* Something they miserably failed to do for Thamesmead, that was an epic fail. The excuse is that it’s difficult terrain. But they’ve built railways underneath the English Channel, above/along rivers and through mountains, for crying out loud, it can’t be impossible.
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