There have been reports that a London council is considering spending £10 million on the purchase of 25 former council homes that were previously sold off to tenants under Right To Buy.
According to the Hackney Citizen, the 25 properties are reportedly on sale for around £400,000 each and are currently in the ownership of a housing company, but previously had been Right To Buy council properties that were sold off.
If the purchase goes through, it is hoped that the homes, currently owned and operated by Local Space, a 15-year partnership between Newham Council and a group of housing professionals, will support an increased supply of affordable housing stick in the borough.
Some of the properties the Local Space partnership operates are outside Newham council boundaries – the 25 properties in question are in Hackney.
Local Space began when Newham Council gifted it 450 properties which were subsequently sold to fund a purchase of over 1,000 properties – the majority of which are in Newham. These were then let on assured shorthold tenancies to people nominated by local authorities including Hackney.
However, according to Hackney council documents, Local Space’s rents are set too high for the majority of its tenants in temporary accommodation.
Local Space is contracted to increase the rent annually in line with a measure of inflation; as a result, Hackney council says its rents are now ‘well in excess of the maximum social rents that Hackney residents can expect to receive.’
Hackney councillors have yet to confirm the £10m purchase. If they do not go ahead, Local Space says it will sell the homes on the private market.
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