Leeds ‘will be forced to sell council houses’

Leeds City Council could be forced to sell hundreds of council homes, claim Shelter
Leeds City Council could be forced to sell hundreds of council homes, claim Shelter
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ALMOST 1,000 council homes might have to be sold to private buyers every year in Leeds as part of a new Government policy, a leading charity has claimed.

Figures from housing campaign group Shelter suggests Leeds will need to sell around 956 council homes a year, raising £128m to send to the Government.

The Government has said it will force councils to sell “higher value” council homes to pay for its extension to the Right to Buy scheme.

Right to Buy already allows council tenants to buy their homes at a discount and that right is to be extended to housing association tenants.

Shelter is worried that the housing association properties sold off will be replaced by more expensive starter homes rather than affordable housing.

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “With millions of families struggling to find a home they can afford, forcing councils to sell-off huge swathes of the few genuinely affordable homes they have left is reckless.

“Whilst the small number of lucky winners from this policy will understandably be grateful for the chance to buy their Housing Association property. Ultimately, far more people will lose out and be left with no choice but expensive, unstable private renting.”

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said the figures were “misleading”.

He said: “The truth is there are billions of pounds locked up in local authority housing assets so it’s only right that when higher value homes become vacant they are sold to build new homes that better meet local needs.”

Every home would be replaced by an affordable property, he said.

He added: “We’ve also set out the most ambition vision for housing in a generation, doubling the housing budget and investing £8billion to deliver 400,000 affordable homes.”