Camden Council has unveiled proposals to let up to 500 council homes on the private market in a bid to raise £413m to bring its dilapidated stock up to the Decent Homes standard.
Almost half of Camden’s 27,000 tenants live in homes in need of improvements and this will rise to three-quarters by 2010, the authority said.
While councils often sell houses to raise revenue, it is unusual to let council housing on the open market. The plans have angered local tenant groups which said people on the waiting list would suffer.
A council spokeswoman defended the proposal, stressing it had not been approved by the executive and required ministerial clearance.
She added: “The options being considered offer a way to reduce the number of homes that have to be sold and to keep more homes in council ownership.”
Tenants voted against the establishment of an arm’s-length management organisation five years ago, a move Camden said would have resulted in £283m of government funding.
Chartered Institute of Housing head of policy Abigail Davies said the idea was “unusual”. “It is quite normal to sell council properties to raise money, but by doing it this way the local authority can get them back at some point.”