New stats show 208,000 properties sold since 2010 election
HUNDREDS of thousands of council homes have been lost under the Tories, Labour said yesterday, citing newly released government statistics.
Some 208,000 properties have been sold off since the end of the last Labour government in 2010, figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show.
The homes were flogged to tenants at huge discounts or put on the open market under the Conservatives’ flagship policy of right to buy.
A number of the most valuable council properties were sold by local authorities to fund the extension of the right to buy to housing association tenants.
This is while councils, struggling to find homes for housing applicants, are forced to cull the number of people on their ever-growing waiting lists by deeming them “low priority” or offer them properties in different cities to those they had rooted their lives in.
The number of new truly affordable homes built by councils and housing associations is at a 24-year low, according to government data.
When Tory ministers decided to increase the discounts for social housing residents five years ago, they promised that each property sold would be replaced “like for like.” But official statistics show they have only replaced one for every five sold.
Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: “After seven years of failure, the Conservatives have no plan to fix the housing crisis.
“These new government figures show that there are over 200,000 fewer council homes than when Labour left office.
“The next Labour government’s new deal on housing will build 100,000 affordable homes a year for local people by getting councils building again.”
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to build a million new homes within five years, with at least half of them being council-owned properties. This would be paid for by the party’s proposed national investment bank.
He also said that a Labour government would end the right to buy for all social housing tenants, reverse the Tories’ damaging Housing Act, which has ended lifetime tenancies for new social housing residents, and introduce rent regulations and increased security of tenure for private tenants.