There have been calls for the Right to Buy scheme to be axed as a report reveals more than half of former council homes in the borough are now owned by private landlords.

The Right to Buy scheme, which has been running since 1980, allows tenants of council properties to buy their homes at a discounted price after living in them for more than two years.

But a recent report by London Assembly Member Tom Copley revealed many homes which were sold to council home tenants as part of the scheme are now owned by private landlords – 51.2 per cent in Enfield.

The leader of Enfield council Nesil Caliskan said: “We have had an acute problem with homelessness and temporary accommodation in places like Enfield and we have to bring a stop to Right to Buy.

“If you have subsidised a council home then you risk with Right to Buy. It would be okay if it was in it’s original ownership but now it is in the hands of private landlords.”

In Enfield 3,000 people are living in temporary accommodation and Cllr Caliskan said the Right to Buy is having a real impact on housing people in the borough.

She said: “The housing crisis is affecting everybody from people on the lowest incomes to people on middle class incomes and Right to Buy is costing us the council homes we do have.

“I think the housing crisis is out of control and we are at crisis point. We have high levels of homelessness and people can’t afford to rent.

“There are people who are working full-time and still use housing benefit.”

Mr Copley’s report also found local authorities in the capital are paying more than £22 million a year to rent former council homes to provide temporary accommodation for homeless families. Cllr Caliskan says this is a particular problem for Enfield Council.

She said: “The loss of social housing has had a real impact and putting people into temporary accommodation is so much more expensive. It is long-term secure tenancies which make a real difference to people.

“There is a real importance to council homes, but we are losing them.”

The council leader said to minimise the impact of Right to Buy the Government should give more control to local authorities, who can decide whether to implement the scheme.

She said as council leader she would stop it.

In the future Cllr Caliskan wants 40 per cent of homes in the borough to be affordable to ensure people are not pushed into homelessness.