H&F Could Be Forced to Sell Half of Housing Stock

Council among those most affected by Right to Buy plan

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The Forced Council Sell-off

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Hammersmith & Fulham Council could be forced to sell off over half of its housing stock if plans announced by the Chancellor go ahead.

That's the warning from housing and homelessness charity Shelter, which says that across the country, 113,000 homes could be sold off because of new Right to Buy regulations.

The plans announced by chancellor George Osborne in the summer budget will require councils to sell homes worth more than a set amount. This amount varies around the country but in London it is set at £340,000 for a one bedroom home, £400,000 for two bedrooms, £490,000 for three, £790,000 for four and £1,205,000 for five or more.

This threshold, says the report from Shelter, means that Hammersmith and Fulham will be amongst the councils most affected, being forced to sell of 50.3% of its stock as it becomes vacant, or 6,301 homes at a rate of 131 per year.

This is the third highest percentage in London, behind its tri-borough partners, Kensington and Chelsea, forced to sell off 97.1% of its stock and Westminster forced to sell 76.2%.

Communities secretary Greg Clark claims the extension of Right to Buy would add to the housing stock while prime minister David Cameron says the proposals would see a "new generation given the security of a home of their own".

However shadow minister for housing and planning John Healey said the sale of council homes would "fundamentally change the character of some of our major towns and cities".

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb says: " ‘The Government needs to scrap this proposal and start helping the millions of ordinary families struggling with sky-high housing costs.

" If George Osborne is serious about turning around the housing crisis, the autumn Spending Review is his last chance to invest in the genuinely affordable homes this country desperately needs."

You can read Shelter's report, The Forced Council Sell-off here.

September 17, 2015