Leeds Council housing sales are on the increase

An aerial view of houses.
An aerial view of houses.

COUNCIL house sales are gathering pace in Leeds, recovering from the drop caused by the financial crisis of 2008.

Figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show that Leeds City Council sold 516 council homes under the national Right to Buy scheme from April 2016 to March 2017.

Fewer than 100 council homes were sold by Leeds under the scheme during each of the 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 financial years.

The figures mean that nine out of every 1,000 homes owned by the council in Leeds were sold in 2016-17.

The ratio is above the national average, with eight out of every 1,000 council homes being purchased by the tenant across England in 2016-17.

Tower Hamlets was the local authority with the highest proportion of sales – 22 for every 1,000 properties in its housing stock.

Leeds council leader Coun Judith Blake, speaking earlier this month about a Government green paper on social housing in her capacity as a Local Government Association spokesperson, said: “There is a desperate need to reverse the decline in council housing over the past few decades.

“The loss of social housing means that we are spending more and more on housing benefit to supplement expensive rents instead of investing in genuinely affordable homes.

“Councils are proud of their housing and their tenants and continually work to improve how they empower their tenants to achieve a positive and responsive relationship.

“However, they need the freedoms and powers to invest in new and existing housing that communities want for themselves and their children.”

Right to Buy was introduced in 1980 by the then Conservative government to help council house tenants buy their rented homes at a discount.