Housing charity warns that Lincoln council homes face being sold off

A number of council houses in Lincoln risk being sold to fund the government’s Right to Buy initiative, according to a leading housing charity.

Figures compiled by Shelter have revealed that up to 19 council houses in Lincoln could be sold to pay for an extension of the scheme.

The proposals would force the council to sell its most expensive homes once they become vacant.

The money would then be used to fund new discounts of up to £100,000 for housing association tenants taking up the Right to Buy.

This news comes at a time when around 3,000 residents are on the council housing waiting list in Lincoln.

In the space of 20 years, 10 new council homes have been completed in the city (all of which in the last two years).

Some 20 new council homes are in the pipeline for the Birchwood estate.

Last year, City of Lincoln Council’s Executive agreed to earmark £15 million to build 150 new council homes in the city over the next six years.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council, said: “We share Shelter’s concerns about the effect of the policy and the potential reduction still further in the numbers of homes available for those in housing need.

“Already the council has too few houses to meet the demand from the local community.

“We’re doing what we can to help by building more homes where resources allow, but this new government policy doesn’t help what we’re trying to do.”

City of Lincoln Council Leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe

City of Lincoln Council Leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe

Shelter’s analysis estimates that 2,400 council homes in the East Midlands, and 113,000 nationally, could be sold on the private market.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “At a time when millions of families are struggling to find somewhere affordable to live, plans to sell off large swathes of the few genuinely affordable homes we have left is only going to make things worse.

“More and more families with barely a hope of ever affording a home of their own and who no longer have the option of social housing, will be forced into unstable and expensive private renting.

“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.”