Ex-tenants wanted council to buy back Right to Buy homes
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
Former tenants wanted council to buy back Right to Buy homes
The chair of a West Midlands ALMO has revealed that her council has seen a surge in Right to Buy applications since the discounts were increased in April, but has warned that it wasn't that long ago the local authority was being asked to buy back homes sold through the programme.
Wolverhampton Homes chair Sue Roberts – also chair of the National Federation of ALMOs – said that around five years ago Wolverhampton City Council was receiving requests from former tenants to buy back homes sold through Right to Buy at the price they were sold at.
She said: "When people were losing their jobs we found previous council tenants who had purchased their homes through Right to Buy were asking the council to buy the homes back for the price they paid for them, provided they could stay in the property."
She added: "We did receive a few calls. At that time there was no money there to buy back the homes. Former tenants were finding it difficult and found it was safer to go back to the council. It wasn't huge numbers but it was happening. Not so much now. It's trailed off a little bit."
Wolverhampton Homes manages 23,500 homes on behalf of Wolverhampton City Council.
Roberts revealed that last April the council sold two homes under Right to Buy and received 18 applications.
This April - since the discounts have increased - it has sold five homes and received 57 applications.
"It's going to be massive," she says. "we could sell four times the level of what we sold last year."
She said the council had got its application into the Government to build so-called "one for one" replacements locally, but warned that it wasn't going to be possible in some cases.
She said: "On some of our properties, once the discount comes off, we could be left with £28,000 to 38,000. If you then say you're only going to have 30% of that money, you're not going to be able to replace one for one."