Right to Buy shake-up: How has the scheme fared in the East Riding?

Fewer council houses in the East Riding are being replaced than are sold through Right to Buy, figures show – as the Government announces another overhaul of the scheme.

By Patrick Jack (Data Reporter)
Monday, 13th June 2022, 12:22 pm
565 council homes were privatised through the Right to Buy scheme in the East Riding, new figures show. Photo: Terry Carrott
565 council homes were privatised through the Right to Buy scheme in the East Riding, new figures show. Photo: Terry Carrott

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the 2.5 million tenants renting their homes from housing associations will be given the right to buy them outright under plans to extend the policy.

But critics say it risks further reducing social housing stock, with housing charity Shelter describing the plan as “reckless”.

Figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG )show that 565 council homes were privatised through the Right to Buy scheme in the East Riding between 2012-13 and 2020-21.

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Councils are expected to replace these homes on a one-for-one basis, but just 107 replacements were acquired or began construction in the area over this period.

Alicia Walker, head of policy, research and campaigns at homeless charity Centrepoint, said: “Extending the Right to Buy to housing associations risks further eroding the stock of social housing, which many young people desperately need.

“Promises of like-for-like replacements have been made before but not been followed through.”

Mr Johnson also announced a change to welfare rules so that the 1.5 million people who are in work but also on housing benefit will have the choice to use their benefit towards a mortgage.

But Shelter described the Prime Minister’s Right to Buy and “benefits to bricks” policies as “baffling, unworkable, and a dangerous gimmick”.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Hatching reckless plans to extend Right to Buy will put our rapidly shrinking supply of social homes at even greater risk.

“The maths doesn’t add up: why try to sell off what little truly affordable housing is left – at great expense – when homelessness is rising and over a million households are stuck on the waiting list?”

The MHCLG figures show that the East Riding of Yorkshire Council collected £31 million through the Right to Buy scheme over nine years.