Ring fencing eases mayor’s right to buy fears
Boris Johnson’s new deputy mayor for housing has said he is ‘relaxed’ about the impact of the right to buy on the capital’s housing stock.
Rick Blakeway, speaking before the London Assembly’s housing and regeneration committee yesterday afternoon (19 June), said the London mayor’s office was initially concerned that money raised through homes sold under the revised right to buy might be re-invested in other parts of the country. Under the new right to buy rules tenants can buy their council home with a maximum discount of up to £75,000.
He said: ‘The biggest concern we had about right to buy was to ensure the receipts were ringfenced and protected for London, we did not want to haemorrhage investment from the capital.’
Councils have until 26 June to apply to the government to be allowed to keep right to buy receipts. If they don’t, receipts will be returned to the Homes and Communities Agency for redistribution nationally. However returned receipts in London will go to the mayor of London, as part of the transfer to the mayor of the HCA’s investment functions.
Mr Blakeway also cited a Communities and Local Government department impact assessment showing that a new home will be able to be provided for every home sold.
Social homes sold under the scheme will be replaced by new homes let under the affordable rent tenure, which can be up to 80 per cent of market rate.