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IMLA: Government won't replace RTB houses

Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, claims the government will fail in its promise to replace social housing stock sold though the revived right to buy scheme.

Sarah Davidson, 19 April, 2012

Speaking at HSBC's Great Housing Market Debate in London today Williams said: "I think it's quite evident from all the inside information one gets that the so-called replacement policy is a complete fig leaf and the product of coalition politics.

"It's not real. The idea that they'll replace is a nonsense."

In last year's government housing strategy Prime Minister David Cameron revived the right to buy scheme offering social tenants a 50% discount to buy their home.

Cameron also said for every social housing unit sold under right to buy the government would plough the profit back into building a new affordable home for the social housing sector.

But Williams said: "There will be some replacement at higher rents and in different locations but the sustained replacement policy isn't really there."

The number of council homes sold under right to buy in England has fallen from about 40,000 in 1998 to just 2,730 in 2011.

In an audience vote at the debate two thirds of people said the government was wrong to concentrate on right to buy.

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