‘Reform RTB to avoid losing social housing’ – LGA

Government figures show that for the last financial year, 10,896 homes were sold through RTB and only 3,447 have been replaced, resulting in a net loss of 7,449 social homes in 2022/23.

At a time of acute housing shortages, when more than one million people are on council housing waiting lists and councils are spending £1.74 billion annually on temporary accommodation, the LGA has set out reforms aimed at ensuring councils have: 

  • control over how and when monies raised through RTB should be used on the development, delivery or acquisition of new homes
  • the power to protect a council’s financial investment in both existing and new social housing stock from a loss-making transaction 
  • flexibility to shape the scheme locally so it works best for a local area, its housing market and residents. 

New LGA analysis shows that £7.5 billion has been handed out in discounts since 2012. 

This will be further exacerbated following the Government’s confirmation that the maximum discounts available to tenants from April 2024 will increase in line with the consumer prices index (CPI) figure of 6.7 per cent, to £102,400 outside London and £136,400 in London.  

Cllr Darren Rodwell, the LGA’s Housing Spokesperson, said: “We are facing a significant housing shortage in this country, which has pushed council budgets to the brink as they struggle to find suitable homes for an ever-increasing number of people. 

“While Right to Buy can and has delivered home ownership for many, the current form does not work for local authorities, and many of those most in need of housing support are simply unable to access secure, safe social housing. 

“It is time for the Government to overhaul a system that has seen our social housing stock diminish significantly. If the Government adopts our proposals, this would allow councils to resume their role as a major builder of affordable homes.”


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