Figures show English councils could lose 250,000 homes by 2020

A staggering 250,000 homes could be lost by English councils between 2012 and 2020 under right to buy, the UK government have revealed – showing how important it was for the SNP to end the council housing sell-off in Scotland.

The SNP abolished Right to Buy in Scotland in 2016 in order to protect existing council-owned housing stock from being sold off. The Tories have taken a different approach in England – which saw 18,110 social houses sold under Right to Buy this year. Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has committed to building 50,000 affordable homes in Scotland by the end of this Parliament.

Commenting, SNP MSP Bob Doris, who chairs Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee, said: “These latest figures from the UK government prove once more how disastrous the sell-off of council homes is for our councils and communities.

“The fact that England could still lose another 250,000 homes between 2012 and 2020 shows that this policy is far from finished damaging our councils and removing affordable homes for social rent from the housing stock.

“Over 18,000 were lost in the last year alone – the policy is simply not sustainable when successive UK governments have failed to replace the homes that have been sold. By contrast, the SNP is committed to building 50,000 affordable homes by the end of this Parliament.

“There’s of course nothing wrong with people buying their own homes – but when it comes at such a high social cost, it is clear that a policy has failed. It’s time for the Tories to follow the Scottish Government’s lead and abolish Right to Buy in England, and protect what remains of our social housing stock.