Havering Council – Housing Buy Back

It has been highlighted to us that Havering Council are buying back previously owned council properties. We questioned this and received the following explanation from them.

‘The council are selling more properties through the Government’s ‘Right to Buy’ policy than we are currently able to replace and with ever-increasing demand for social housing, due to the Government’s ‘Homelessness’ policy, and changes and affordability issues in the private market, the demand for housing is higher than ever.

When properties are sold Havering council is able to keep a portion of the receipts from the sale, called ‘Right to Buy’ receipts, which can only be recycled into buying or building new properties. The receipts are restricted to funding 30% of the cost to build or buy the new property, cannot be mixed with Greater London Authority grant and must be used within three years of retaining the receipts. If these receipts are not used within three years they must be returned to the Government, with interest.

Therefore it’s in the authorities best interest to use as many of these receipts as we possibly can.

Havering council has advertised its plans to build thousands of new homes through its regeneration programme, but the land we have available to build on at an affordable rate is limited, so we also need to utilise the other option of buying back properties to try to increase the supply of housing as much as possible.

Properties bought back are only let to Havering council tenants, who are unable to afford a property in the private market, and also must be local, the ‘Housing’ policy states that applicants must have lived in the borough for at least six years before they can be offered a council property.’

For more details on the decision of Havering Council in 2015 to buy back ex-council properties see this link.

For information on buying your council home through Right to Buy see this link.

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