Labour councils in London have backed the initiative from Mayor Sadiq Khan to buy back ex-council houses now in the private rental sector.
Since 1980 more than 300,000 London council homes have been sold. While the number of Right to Buy sales has been declining in recent years, Khan claims the policy continues to have a negative impact on the overall number of council homes in London.
Therefore he plans to buy some back from small landlords exiting the sector because of tougher tax and legal restrictions.
Labour councils in the capital have backed the move.
Georgia Gould, leader of Camden council, says: “We are proud to be challenging a national failed approach to tackling homelessness by buying back homes that we have been forced to sell off through years of damaging right to buy policy, and using them to house homeless families in need of temporary accommodation in our borough.
“Since July 2019, Camden has repurchased 61 former council properties and we plan to purchase a further 80 through £35M of additional investment into our Temporary Accommodation Purchase Programme.
“This is vital investment that is helping to deliver more high quality, temporary accommodation for those who need it most. It is also helping our vulnerable families to stay within the borough, with their communities, close to their schools and networks, as we support them to move into long term settled accommodation.
“Camden, like much of London, has found itself at the sharp end of the housing affordability crisis and, as we rebuild from the devastating impact of Covid-19, there has been no greater time for change. We welcome the Mayor’s announcement and look forward to working with the Mayor as other boroughs join Camden in reclaiming decades of lost social housing for Londoners.”
Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, adds: “The Mayor’s plan will enable us to reclaim urgently needed housing that was originally and rightfully intended for public ownership.
“London is facing a housing crisis, and alongside our Building for Lewisham housebuilding programme, the Right to Buy-back scheme will be important in helping us move more Lewisham residents off the housing waiting list and into secure social homes.”
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