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Portsmouth City Council buys back over 100 former council properties to house local families in council flats

Portsmouth City Council has achieved the milestone of buying back 100 former council homes to help cut the city’s waiting list in the last year.

Finding local people places to live has been increasingly challenging due to the limited space left in the city. Therefore the decision was made to push the re-purchase of eligible council homes through the Replacement Homes scheme, as well as continue to build new homes when possible.

The decision turned out to be the right one as the scheme has become one of the biggest buy-back programmes in the country, with 100 properties being added to the council housing stock from 1 April 2020 through to late last month, the last date for when figure are available.

The programme’s success has been in part due to the collaborative effort within the councils Right to Buy, Leasehold Services and the Replacement Homes teams. There are generally around 120 properties in the pipeline at any one stage. The homes being bought back are a mix of houses, flats, maisonettes and bungalows.

Councillor Darren Sanders, Cabinet Member for Housing and Preventing Homelessness said: ‘It has been clear for years that we cannot just build our way out of Portsmouth’s housing crisis. That’s why the council is taking radical action through this ambitious programme.

‘This programme will cut the waiting list and provide more homes Portsmouth people can afford. We have given the council the tools to repeat this every year to 2024. It’s an ambitious target, but one we want to see happen.

‘Reaching the 100 property milestone has been a major achievement, particularly against the backdrop of the pandemic. Well done to everyone involved’.

If you or anyone you know has a former council flat, maisonette or house and are thinking of selling, contact the council for more information. The council offer sellers an independent valuation based on current market value, no estate-agent fees/ viewings or chains, and support throughout the process.

Contact Jack White, replacement homes officer, at jack.white@portsmouthcc.gov.uk