Yesterday, I looked at the progress councils in London are making in providing replacements homes for those sold under the right to buy. Although there are wide variations the evidence showed that overall the requirement to provide replacements was being not only met, but exceeded. Of course even when a council fails to meet a target, it doesn’t mean the homes won’t be provided. It means that the council is forced to hand over the receipts and the Greater London Authority or the Homes and Communities Agency sort it out. Councils are also allowed to fund housing associations to provide the replacement homes.
Councils have three years from the time of a sale to provide the replacement properties. So this financial year they will have to hand back money unless they have delivered replacements for the properties sold in 2012-13. As we found yesterday, in London, this is overwhelmingly being achieved.
What of the other cities in England? As with the London boroughs, several have not replied or responded by saying they had transferred their stock to a housing association.
Brighton and Hove
I know we think of it as a couple of towns but officially it is a city.
25 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 187 sales. So far there have been 15 replacement homes built. A further 202 are planned – so provided at least 10 of those start being built, or at least funded, by April then the council will not have to hand over any funds to central government. The Council are “not anticipating” having to return any money.
97 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 495 sales. There are ten replacements to be completed this year. The council adds: “1,000 homes are planned to be built over the next 15-years partially funded by additional RTB receipts.” But they don’t think this will be enough, blaming the cut in social rents they say:
“We estimate that over 10 years up to £30m of receipts / £4m of interest may need to be paid back to government.”
41 properties were sold under the Right to Buy in 2012/13. From 2012 to date there have been 164 sales. The Council adds that it “has built, is in the process of building or has scheme specific approval to deliver 180 new homes using existing right to buy receipts. A further 23 are planned, but do not yet have scheme specific approval.” That sounds as though the target for 41 new homes by April will be met.
72 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 397 sales. So far there have been 85 replacements with more planned. The Council is emphatic that “no capital receipts will be returned.”
23 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 89 sales. There have already been 45 replacements with another 48 planned.
17 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 65 sales. 16 replacements are currently planned for this financial year and as the council “does not intend” to return any proceeds that implies they are confident of getting at least another one by April.
117 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 508 sales. Only 50 replacements are currently planned and the council adds: “At present we are unsure of the amount that we could be returning to central Government given that the future calculation is heavily dependent upon the level of Right to Buy sales and forthcoming new build units. At 31st March 2015, we had £1.666m in unused receipts and the 50 currently planned to be funded would use £921k of these receipts, leaving £745k currently unallocated.”
186 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 814 sales. So far there have been 68 replacements and a further 194 are planned. The Council says it has “not anticipated” returning money, thus indicating that it is anticipating hitting the schedule for replacements.
148 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 604 sales. So far there have been 171 replacements, another 177 are currently planned, but already the council has met its requirement for this financial year.
134 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 588 sales. So far there have been 30 replacements, 54 about to be completed and 252 more are currently planned: “Nottingham City Council is planning to ensure it will not be necessary to return any RTB 1-4-1 receipts.”
Nine sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 108 sales. So far there have been no replacements however: “The Council has entered into an agreement with the Joint Venture company the authority created with Grosvenor Estates for the development of 800 new homes at Barton. The Housing Service of the Council, via its Housing Revenue Account, is due to acquire 354 social housing properties over the next 8 years, many of which will be financed using retained 1-4-1 RTB capital receipts. The first properties are due to be obtained in 2016/17. The Council at this point in time does not intend to return any previously retained 1-4-1 RTB capital receipts.”
43 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 217 sales. 94 new homes are being funded this year so no money will be handed over to the Government.
149 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 773 sales. So far there have been 119 replacements so another 30 required by April which seems likely as the council adds: “Number of properties planned = 1,000 to 2020 (including those already acquired). The Local Authority has no intention to return any of the 1 for 1 RTB receipts to central government. Instead, as is the requirement, it will use the net RTB Receipt toward 30% of the cost of new replacement homes.”
81 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 384 sales. So far there have been 25 replacements with 21 planned. The Council adds that: “It is not anticipated that the council will be obliged to send any of its retained 1-4-1 Right to Buy receipts to central Government.” Though it seems they will have to speed up the building programme for that to be the case.
119 sales in 2012/13. From 2012 to date 610 sales. 51 replacements so far and 85 more planned for this year so “not anticipated” that any money will be handed to central government.
24 sales for 2012/13.From 2012 to date 151 sales. 77 replacement homes built of planned for this year so not expecting to have to hand over any funds.
So from the councils we looked at today we can see a total of 1,285 sales under the right to buy in 2012/13. Therefore, with the three year deadline that is the broad target we should be looking to see replaced by the end of this year. Already 667 have been built and by the end of March at least another 547 are due so that comes to 1,214.
It does look as though some councils will miss the target but others will dramatically exceed it. Given that most of the cities listed above have Labour councils it is a pity that Jeremy Corbyn is not trumpeting their success with regards to replacement right to buy properties.