Home Purchase Policy success in increasing supply of city’s council homes

A total of 89 homes were brought back into council ownership last year (2021/22) through our Home Purchase Policy scheme.  

That’s the highest number of homes purchased in one year since the scheme was launched in 2017 to buy back properties sold under Right to Buy. 

And it brings the total number of houses and flats bought back by the council through the scheme to 211, providing more council-rented homes for people on the city’s housing register. 

The scheme is one of a range of ways we are providing much-needed extra council housing across the city. 

In the last 3 years, we’ve provided more than 320 additional council homes.  

Previously additional council home gains were balanced by losses under the national Right to Buy scheme, but in the last 3 years we’ve been able to provide an average of over 80 more council homes than have been lost through the Right to Buy. 

This has been achieved through projects including the Home Purchase Policy, our New Homes for Neighbourhoods building programme, and the Hidden Homes scheme which converts empty spaces in council-owned properties into homes. 

Home Purchase Policy 

The Home Purchase Policy lets us buy back properties that were sold from the council through the government’s Right to Buy scheme. 

If you're a leaseholder or freeholder owner of one of these properties, and interested in selling your home, you can find more information on our Home Purchase page

Providing more council homes 

Councillor David Gibson, co-chair of the Housing Committee, said: “It’s great that we’ve been able to bring back a record number of council homes through our Home Purchase Policy.  

“Each year we’ve set staff bigger home purchase targets and they have done some amazing work to achieve them.  

“By switching the maximum resources possible into home purchase during the pandemic, we have been able to continue increasing the number of additional council homes while other providers like housing associations have struggled. 

“Previously our additional council homes programme just about compensated for losses from the Right to Buy, but now, under our joint housing programme, for the first time this century, net council home numbers in the city are expanding again by an average of over 80 a year.   

“Most exciting, in future years, we are now set to achieve more and more additional council homes, including 176 at lower ‘living rents’ from the Homes for Brighton & Hove joint venture with Hyde.  

“Secure affordable housing is a vital bedrock for peoples’ well-being, so I am very proud of our contribution in hugely expanding affordable housing in the city.” 

Councillor Gill Williams, the opposition lead for housing, said: “Every one of these extra council homes will make a real difference to the lives of the people living in them, and we look forward to more homes being purchased this year.” 

Other measures to provide more council homes are outlined below. 

New Homes for Neighbourhoods  

Our New Homes for Neighbourhoods  building programme is providing new council homes on council-owned sites. 

A total of 42 new council flats are currently under construction in Victoria Road, Portslade and due to be completed later this year. 

We’ve built 227 new homes under the programme so far since the project began, and there are more in the pipeline. 

Plans are progressing for a new community hub and more than 200 council homes on a number of underused sites in Moulsecoomb, and a planning application is due to be submitted this spring. 

Hidden Homes 

A former housing office at George Cooper House in Oxford Street, Brighton, has been transformed into 10 flats to provide temporary accommodation for people in housing need. 

And on the Bristol Estate in Brighton, former drying areas and bin rooms at blocks of flats have been transformed to create eight council homes, a mix of studios and two-bedroom flats. 

Other projects completed through the Hidden Homes scheme include three flats at Swallow Court, Whitehawk, created by converting a former office, and two extra flats at Elwyn Jones Court seniors housing scheme in Patcham.  

Temporary accommodation 

We are increasing the amount of council-owned temporary housing, to reduce the need to house people in privately-owned accommodation. 

Last year residents moved into a block of 38 flats in Hartington Road, Brighton, purchased by the council to provide temporary homes for people in housing need. 

The accommodation was recently named ‘Manoj House’, following an engagement with the local community and primary school. The name commemorates Manoj Natha-Hansen, a teacher at St Martin’s Primary School who sadly died suddenly in September 2020. 

Homes for Brighton & Hove 

A total of 242 homes are being built in Coldean Lane, Coldean and 104 in Wellington Road, Portslade, in developments by Homes for Brighton & Hove, a partnership of the council and housing association, the Hyde Group. 

More than half will be council homes at ‘living rents’, with the rest available to buy through a shared ownership scheme from Hyde. They are due to be ready next year. 

 

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