Northamptonshire County Council struggling to match Government promise to replace properties sold via Right To Buy, data suggests

Council-managed homes in Northampton are being sold but not replaced despite a Government promise to do so made in 2012.

Monday, 27th November 2017, 6:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 2:29 pm
Northampton's housing stock has declined in the last five years.

Northampton County Council’s social housing stock, managed by Northampton Partnership Homes, has steadily decreased over the last five years even though the Government pledged to replace one-for-one any council properties sold via the national Right To Buy scheme.

Government figures show there were 12,100 properties under the authority’s management in Northampton in 2012. In November 2017, the tally stands at 11,586, a loss of 514.

Right To Buy gives council house tenants and some housing associations the opportunity to buy the property at a discount price.

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Housing campaigner Norman Adams

As part of the agreements which helped form the 2012 coalition Government, a pledge to replace each property sold via the Right To Buy scheme with a new home was made - in other words for every house sold, one would be built.

However, it is not clear whether this means a four-bed house would be replaced with a similar sized one or a smaller property.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that 521 properties have been sold by the council since the first quarter of 2012-13.

Of those sold more than 80 per cent were family homes: 199 were two-bed homes, 219 were three-beds, 16 were four-beds and four were five-beds.

Housing campaigner Norman Adams

In the same time period, construction on around 20 per cent of that overall number begun. In September 2016, National Audit Office data showed the Government was struggling nationally to match its pledge.

Housing campaigner Norman Adams said: “The most concerning is since 2012 the Government said they would replace the houses one-for-one… that’s not happened.

“We have got thousands of people on the housing list. They are farming the properties out to the private sector.

“Luckily I’m over 70 and I am settled. I wouldn’t want to be in my 30s now trying to start a family, it’s difficult.

He added: “Housing has changed so much. When I was young you could get a council house and you didn’t have to wait that long.

“Their grandchildren have it a damned sight harder.”