Westminster Council is planning to buy 24 new homes in Hounslow for use as council homes for Westminster residents.
They will use funds generated from selling off properties in Westminster to buy the homes on a Galliard Homes development. On average, a flat in Westminster sells at £1,324,291, witht he Hounslow equivalent selling at £414,093.
Out of borough purchases are not new, various outer London boroughs have acquired homes as far away as Hull and Birmingham. However, this is thought to be the first time they have been on the receiving end.
Labour councillors in Westminster are concerned about the plan. Cllr Adam Hug said: “These worrying plans see Westminster try to pass the buck for delivering new social housing to Hounslow. The council should invest that money in creating new Council homes in Westminster rather than allowing thousands of luxury flats to be built in our City while pushing out our council tenants to outer London.”
It is not known whether the flats to be purchased would be in principle for market sale, or part of the planned affordable content of the scheme.
Cllr Daniel Astaire, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration, Business and Economic Development at Westminster City Council said: “These homes will not be used for temporary accommodation, and no one will be forced to move into them. They will be allocated through a choice-based system where working households have additional priority. These properties have been purchased following Hounslow’s own planning process which will have taken into account the impact on local services, and just like all other residents, people moving into these homes will be paying council tax for access to any of these local services.”