11:55 AM, 10th August 2022, About 4 months ago 8
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has urged landlords who have a former council house they want to sell to offer their property to local councils – rather than selling to other landlords.
Mr Khan has given an update on the Right to Buy-back scheme which was unveiled in July last year in a bid to bring more homes into public ownership.
He added that more small landlords are looking to sell up because of the impact of tax law changes and that it would ‘far better’ for houses to be sold to local councils than to other private landlords.
So far, the Right to Buy-back scheme has seen 14 London boroughs spending £152m to buy 1,577 former council homes on the market that have been or will be, converted into affordable homes that will be let at social rent or to homeless households.
This includes two London boroughs that have bought 39 homes for housing Afghan refugees.
It has also been revealed that since 1980, more than 300,000 council homes in London have been sold under the Right to Buy scheme.
Mr Khan said: “For more than 40 years, London’s precious council homes have been disappearing into the private sector, often never to be replaced.
“I am proud that, thanks to my interventions, we have brought council homebuilding back up to levels not seen since the 1970s and I’m hugely encouraged by the enthusiasm I see from boroughs across London for building new council homes and using my Right to Buy-back scheme to return homes to public ownership.”
He added: “These homes were built for the public good and it has been painful to watch them disappear into private portfolios.”
Damien Egan, the mayor of Lewisham, said: “The Right to Buy-back scheme is already making a big difference in Lewisham, with families moving into their new homes.
“Thanks to funding from the Mayor of London, we have been able to bring these homes back into public ownership, helping to house families on our housing waiting list, many of whom have had years waiting in hostels and B&Bs.”
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