Right to Buy wrong for Croydon?

Pic: Wikimedia Commons

Over a third of homes sold in Croydon under the Right to Buy scheme are now being privately rented out bylandlords, according to a new report.

The report, called Right to Buy: Wrong for London, was commissioned by Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley. It claims that a total of 882 homes in the borough sold through Right to Buy are privately rented, with four landlords owning at least five of these homes each.

Introduced in the 1980s, Right to Buy was intended to allow council house tenants to buy their home at a significant discount, sometimes up to 70 per cent.

Croydon Councillor Alison Butler, who is the Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Homes,  argues the scheme should be phased out. She maintains that Right to Buy, which has already been abolished in Scotland and Wales, “makes no sense…in an area of high housing need particularly when a large amount of these homes end up being rented out at much higher prices”.

There is a distinct shortage of new homes in Croydon, with only 73 new builds in the last five years. This is despite there being more than 2,000 families in temporary accommodation.

Over the same period 566 homes have been sold through Right to Buy.

To tackle the issue, Croydon council has launched the Croydon Affordable Homes scheme. The council has purchased 250 homes which are to be rented out to families in temporary accommodation at a heavily discounted rate.

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