Council slammed after breaking promise to replace right to buy homes
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing
Housing association’s Homebuy scheme extended
Westminster City Council has been slammed after selling off 66 flats under the right to buy scheme and failing to replace them with new homes.
According to figures uncovered by Labour councillors in the borough, the Tory-led local authority has made £16.2 million from the 66 flat sales since 2010.
Central government promised that all council homes sold off under right to buy would be replaced with new builds.
Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour Group, said: “The Conservatives promised that for every council flat sold under the right to buy a new home would be built to replace each one sold.
"That promise has turned out to be completely worthless and not one single new replacement council property has been built in Westminster since 2010 despite the council receiving over £16 million for the 66 flats sold.
"There is no excuse for the council’s abysmal failure to keep its promise to build new council flats to replace those sold off at a massive discount. The Conservatives cannot be trusted on social housing.”
Purchasers of Westminster's council housing can currently receive discounts of up to £100,000 under right to buy.
Cllr Daniel Astaire, member for housing and business, said: “Money collected is pooled into a central government pot to fund government investment. Westminster has received £5.7m of right to buy receipts which is allocated for new affordable housing.
“This cash is already earmarked to directly fund at least 91 new affordable homes within Westminster. This is part of a wider affordable housing programme using council resources scheduled to deliver new affordable housing through acquisitions, regeneration schemes and other developments.
“In addition to the 500 affordable homes due to be delivered through regeneration, CityWest Homes is working to grow its portfolio of social housing by 100 while also increasing the average size of homes within the city. The council has allocated £167m for this programme, and this will be topped up with support from the affordable housing fund.”