In answer to a written Parliamentary Question earlier this week, Rachael Maskell MP has learned that nearly a quarter of the receipts arising from the country’s Right to Buy sales are returned to the Government.
In figures obtained by Rachael Maskell MP, the amount raised from Right to Buy in the year 2018-2019 was £721,239,679.49 and of this a staggering £184,405,064.41 had to be returned to the Government for use elsewhere across the country. Since much of this money is likely to be spent in the South of England, cities in the North, like York, are at a major disadvantage.
York has a huge housing shortage and if the local authority are allowed to retain this money it could alleviate some of the difficulties the city is facing, for instance through building the social housing York desperately needs.
Cllr Michael Pavlovic, Labour Spokesperson for Housing and Stronger Communities says:
“The Council’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment in 2016 identified that over the 5-year period 2014/15-2018/19 the Council needed to achieve the delivery of 2,865 affordable units. Delivery over the period to March 2019 was 522 new affordable homes. Over the same period there were 324 Right to Buy sales and over £1.2m was returned to Government. The Council’s so-called ambitious Housing Delivery Programme will deliver only 120 council properties for rent whilst they anticipate losing 300 to Right to Buy. There is no sense that this administration is taking York’s affordable housing crisis seriously”.
Rachael Maskell MP says:
“Every single day I am contacted by people in need of somewhere to live. Some are homeless, others are sofa surfing between friends and relatives and others are living in damp or squalid properties or in privately rented housing which is far too costly for them. York could do a huge amount if it were able to keep the funding from council house right to buy sales.
“The Liberal-Democrat/Green council must speak out about the injustice that York is facing. We cannot sit back and allow the Government to take a quarter of the revenue from council house sales year on year. This is totally unacceptable and the public need to know what is happening.
“I am writing to the Minister today to demand a fairer system and I hope that York’s council leaders will do the same. We need to speak up for York residents if they are to have the housing they need in the future.”
The Parliamentary Question is shown below:
Subject: Written answer to your WPQ 2659 received from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (2659):
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much money local authorities have (a) retained and (b) returned to the Government in right to buy receipts in each year since 2012-13. (2659)
Tabled on: 13 January 2020 by Rachael Maskell MP
The following receipts arising from Right to Buy sales made in each of the following financial years are currently retained by English local authorities:
The following receipts arising from Right to Buy sales made in each of the following financial years have been returned by English local authorities to the Government:
All figures are provisional.
The answer was submitted on 28 Jan 2020 at 11:46.