Thousands of homes in London have returned to council ownership following the launch of the “Right to Buy-back” scheme last year, City Hall has revealed.
The scheme has provided 14 councils with £152million of funding since it launched in July 2021, which has seen 1,577 private homes bought by councils to bolster their affordable housing stock.
Of that total, 908 homes have been or will be let at social rent levels – the cheapest affordable council rents.
The Mayor of London launched the scheme last summer to counter the trend of council homes “disappearing into the private sector”.
Since the introduction of Right to Buy in the 1980’s – which gave council tenants the chance to buy their property at a discounted rate – more than 300,000 council homes in London have been sold on the private market.
Sadiq Khan said: “I am proud that, thanks to my interventions, we have brought council homebuilding back up to levels not seen since the 1970s and I’m hugely encouraged by the enthusiasm I see from boroughs across London for building new council homes and using my Right to Buy-back scheme to return homes to public ownership.
“These homes were built for the public good and it has been painful to watch them disappear into private portfolios. Returning these homes to public ownership is a key part of my plan to build a better London for everyone – a city that is greener, fairer and more prosperous for all.”
Hounslow is the borough that has seen the highest uptake of Right to Buy Back funding, with 555 homes purchased under the scheme including 19 specifically for Afghan refugees.
A total of 408 homes have been purchased by Newham Council, while 100 have been purchased in Lewisham.
Of the 80 homes purchased in Islington, 20 have been set aside for Afghan refugees.