ONLY one in six social houses sold under right-to-buy has been replaced in Epping Forest.

From 2012 to the end of 2017, 201 properties owned by the council were sold to their tenants through the right-to-buy scheme, raising £14,566,592 in usable capital receipts.

Aside from £602,992 which had to be handed over to central government - because the three year post-sale build cut-off date had passed - the money has been spent building more social houses in a scheme called one-for-one.

So far only 35 replacement properties have been finished however, leaving the 1,500 people strong housing register to get longer and longer.

Of those 35, ten are let at social rent, at a significantly lower monthly cost than the other 25, which are let at 80 per cent of market rate.

Builders are currently working on two sites which will hold 85 new homes and a further 74 have planning permission, with all 159 to be let at 80 per cent of market rate.

For the 65 people who have been stuck waiting for a house for more than ten years however, progress may not seem rapid enough.

At present, the average wait for a social house is just shy of three years.

Epping Forest District councillor Simon Heap, of the Green Party, said: "It is really not enough, but there are reasons why the council can't operate quicker.

"Most councils now have to pay a something to the government each year which they do by selling the high value houses or the ones the council can't let.

"It is called a one-for-one, which is a nonsense because it is more like a third."

Cllr Heap argued that the council had not been ambitious enough.

He added: "When they say affordable housing they mean 80 per cent of market rent, which is not affordable.

"I think the Greens would do a better job. The council needs to think bigger because we don't have enough houses here.

"Maybe we need to take up more land. There's been a lack of imagination throughout the whole of the Local Plan.

"Maybe we need 20,000 house here. There are places we could build if we were ambitious. Do we really need two airfields in Epping for example, when one's as a backup for Stansted?"

An Epping Forest District Council spokesperson said: "Within its Development Strategy, the Council has a target to build 300 new homes over 10 years (2013-23). This is based on a supply of 65 sites.

"The Council is also working with private developers to purchase affordable homes through S106 developments.

"One site in the pipeline is at Barnfield, Roydon where the Council is purchasing eight houses for affordable rent."