Westminster sells just 2 Right-to-Buy properties since April
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government
Westminster sells just 2 Right-to-Buy flats since April
Westminster City Council has sold just two properties under the Right-to-Buy (RTB) scheme since April - a mere 2% of the council's forecast sales for this year.
So far, this year's sales figures are lower than previous years' numbers - when discounts were considerably less. There were 12 RTB sales in 2011/12 and 15 in 2010/11.
The council had previously predicted that 100 RTB homes would be sold this financial year. Westminster's Labour councillors have criticised the low figures.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said: “The Government’s £75,000 RTB hand-out has, so far, been a total failure in Westminster. The Conservatives have cruelly raised the hopes of many council tenants who simply do not have the savings or the incomes to afford Westminster’s sky-high property prices.
"Instead of building more social rented homes, the Conservatives have been more interested in headline-grabbing stunts and extravagant promises which simply cannot deliver home-ownership to people on modest or low incomes. Even by massively increasing the publicly-funded hand-out, the promise of selling 100 flats to tenants this year has, so far, been another Conservative con trick”.
Jonathan Glanz, Cabinet Member for Housing and Property, explained that sales have been slow because of the current economic climate and because of the length of time it takes to see a sale go through. He believes that sales will have risen by the end of the financial year.
He said: "It's strange that Labour are complaining about how low the sales figures are when they previously criticised the RTB scheme. You'd think the low sales would please them. But then consistency is not something that they're known for. I feel they are only doing this to attract some attention to themselves."