Tenants snap up South Yorkshire council houses

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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Hundreds of council homes in South Yorkshire have been sold to tenants in the past four years – to the value of more than £37million.

Figures show the number of properties in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley bought under the Right To Buy scheme was 936.

Sheffield Council’s data, revealed under The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign, showed the authority and housing associations had sold 560 properties for more than £21m between 2008 and 2013.

But the amount actually received from sales over four years was £6,238,056.

The council did not respond in time to a Star request when asked how the money was used.

In Rotherham, 132 right to buy properties were sold from 2008-2013.

The council said it retained £200,000 from £987,000 received after deductions by Government and other costs. The total value of sales was £6,534,000.

Director of housing Dave Richmond said: “During this period the council built 125 homes and has in the last two years started to acquire new purpose-built properties.

“So far, 15 properties have been bought at a cost of £860,000.

“In 2014-15 we are expecting to complete in excess of a further 50 acquisitions at a cost of approximately £4.5 million.”

Barnsley Council sold 242 properties to tenants and received £10.8 m from sales.

The council said around 25 per cent of the cash was spent on building new homes, £1.085m set aside to repay debt, £572,000 for investment in new build and £646,000 for investment in the capital programme.

Last year £2.948m was retained by the authority, which was used to repay debt, fund new council housing, investment in the capital programme and for administration.