Mid Suffolk among worst in country at replacing council houses sold under right-to-buy while Ipswich scores highly
- Credit: PA
Local authorities in Suffolk are among both the best and worst at replacing council housing stock that has been sold off, new figures have revealed.
Official data just released found that one in three councils across the country has not replaced a single house sold through the Right to Buy scheme.
With separate analysis suggesting as many as 113,000 council homes will need to be sold off to fund the scheme, some fear it will leave many areas without affordable housing.
According to the data, Ipswich Borough Council has replaced 80% of its council houses, ranking it sixth in the table of local authorities that have replaced the most.
At the other end of the scale, Mid Suffolk District Council has only replaced 1.4% of its council house stock putting it fifth among the 10 local authorities that have replaced the fewest homes.
In contrast to the Government’s pledge of a like-for-like replacement, provisional figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that of the 166 councils in England listed as having sold properties through the Right to Buy scheme since 2012, 33% had not replaced a single home.
Just one council in 12 managed to build enough to replace half their stock, and only two had succeeded in replacing more than 100% of those sold. In total, it means just one home has been built for every nine sold.
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The chief executive of homeless charity Shelter, Campbell Robb, warned the problem was only likely to get worse, leaving some areas with no affordable homes.
He added: “At this rate there will soon be blackspots across the country where no-one on a normal income can afford to live.”
Meanwhile Local Government Association housing spokesman Peter Box said many councils were being hampered by complex rules and restrictions on the use of receipts from sales.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said nearly 40,000 new homeowners had been created since Right to Buy was reinvigorated in 2012.
More than 3,000 replacement homes have already been delivered across the country, he said.