'NO'says Dr Joe McManners, executive member for housing needs at Oxford City Council. Oxford is the least affordable city to buy property in the UK, outside parts of London. The previous right-to-buy scheme led to half the council’s family housing stock being sold (more than 3,550 homes).

The Government kept the profits and the number of houses available to families in housing need in the city was drastically reduced.

Rather than see lots of people staying in the houses, lots were snapped up on the cheap by landlords, who then rented back to tenants on higher rents and claimed housing benefit at a higher rate.

We are now, unbelievably, seeing history repeat itself.

This is likely to further reduce the amount of affordable housing available to those in housing need, increasing homelessness and will lead to more profiteering by big landlords.

Even if we could find space to build new council housing in Oxford we would only get a small amount of the cost of building a new house (less than 30 per cent) and the house would only be available to rent at about double the rent of the sold house.

This is a deeply unfair policy.


says housing minister Grant Shapps ThE Government inherited a housing market in disarray, with millions of hard-working people blocked from taking their first step on the housing ladder – their desire to buy a home no longer a dream, but a distant fantasy.

We want to help everyone achieve their aspirations, and feel the pride of home ownership.

So I am delighted that we are scrapping the miserly restrictions on the level of discounts under right to buy – great news for thousands of tenants who have done well for themselves and want to be able to buy the home that they live in.

But we are also determined to maintain the number of affordable homes available around the country for rent.

So, for the first time, all the homes that are sold under the scheme will be replaced by a new affordable homes, helping councils meet housing need in their areas and getting the nation building again.