'Long-running scandal' of sold council housing continues in Haringey

'Long-running scandal' of sold council housing continues in Haringey

'Long-running scandal' of sold council housing continues in Haringey

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

Haringey has the third highest loss of council homes in London, according to government statistics.

Over the past two years, Haringey Council has sold 250 council homes under the Right to Buy scheme, but built no new homes with the money received from the sales.

The scheme, under which council tenants can buy their homes at a discount of up to £100,000, was a flagship policy of former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Councils are required to use the money gained from the sales to build new homes within three years.

But Councillor Sarah Elliott, leader of the Haringey Liberal Democrats, said: “The last council home was built in Haringey 26 years ago. So it is disappointing but not surprising that Haringey Labour have been so poor at using the money from right to buy homes to build more council homes.”

She added:  “Labour keep making promises to tackle the affordable housing crises in Haringey while failing to meet their own targets for affordable homes delivered on private developments.  

"It is time they stopped talking and took some action to deliver the affordable homes and council homes local people need.”

Paul Burnham, of campaign group Haringey Defend Council Housing, said that the issue of wasted Right to Buy receipts was a “long-running scandal”.

He said: “The receipts have never been reinvested in new council housing, as was promised. I’m upset to hear that this is still continuing. It’s essential that the receipts in Haringey are invested in new council housing.”

A spokesman for Haringey Council said the receipts would not go unspent.

He said: “We’re committed to building new high-quality homes to meet rising demand – including 250 new council homes and a range of other affordable options.

“We are currently considering the best way to invest receipts from Right to Buy sales in projects that will bring forward more affordable housing in Haringey.”

Across London, 4,912 council homes have been sold under Right to Buy over the last two years, with building work starting on 667 replacement homes in the same period.

Darren Johnson, London Assembly Green Party member, called for councils to be allowed to borrow more money in order to invest more in building houses.

He added: “Fewer low rent homes will drive more low paid people out of London.”

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