Labour councillors in Hammersmith and Fulham oppose the right to buy for council tenants claiming that it fails to fund replacement homes. Yet if this were to be the case that they can’t manage it then all the proceeds have to be handed over to central government for the Homes and Communities Agency to build the replacement homes instead.
According to Labour’s own council officers in the borough this has not been necessary.
The Housing Department’s Head of Financial Investment & Strategy tells me:
“We monitor Right to Buy receipts every month and currently don’t anticipate having to pay the receipts back to central government.
“As at 30th June 2017 we have used £5.1m of Right to Buy receipts to provide additional affordable homes, 38 of which have already been provided and 184 are currently in progress.
“Further receipts will be used towards completing the 184 homes in progress and on further additional homes as and when approval is granted.”
Do Labour councillors not talk to their own housing officers?
The makes Labour’s refusal to sell high value voids (even a vacant council house in Parsons Green worth £2 million or £3 million) absurd. Clearly it would be possible to pay for several much needed replacement homes with the proceeds.
Perhaps Labour councillors, many of whom enjoy home ownership for themselves, want to deny the opportunity for others.