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Government Accused Of Stealing Over £90M Of Funding For New Council Homes

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Tom Copley, the housing spokesperson for the Labour London Assembly, has accused the government of ‘stealing’ over £90m of funding for new council homes in the capital.

In November, Copley wrote a letter to Danny Alexander MP asking him to explain how capital from Right to Buy had been spent. Housing minister Brandon Lewis replied in March, admitting that between 2012 and 2014 the Treasury had diverted over £90m of Right to Buy income from London boroughs to other projects.

Lewis said that the money had been put into the ‘general pot’ of treasury finding and that it was ‘not possible to set out specifically’ how the proceeds were spent.

Copley said the money should have been used to fund new homes in the capital, and accused the government of intentionally cutting the number of council homes in London. He wrote:

“Given the scale of need for new social housing in London, as well as the predictions of London councils who believe they will sell more homes then they will build in coming years, I ask that you return the £90m top slice so that councils have the best chance possible to replenishing their social housing stock.”

The last government promised that every ‘home sold under Right to Buy will be replaced by a new home for affordable rent, with receipts from sales recycled towards the cost of replacements’.

But a recent report from Tom Copley found that councils in London expect the number of homes sold under Right to Buy to far outstrip the rate they are able to build replacements over the next decade. [more at link]


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