LGA Lib Dems: Model Motion on Right to Buy and Housing Sell-Off

Find below a new model template for a council motion opposing the Conservative extension of the ‘Right to Buy’:

RIGHT TO BUY AND THE FORCED SELL OFF OF COUNCIL HOUSING

This Council notes:

  • the Government’s proposal to extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants, to be paid for by a forced sell off of the most expensive Council Housing stock;
  • with alarm the shortage of affordable rented homes [in our area] with [INSERT FIGURE HERE] households on our council’s housing waiting list and is very concerned that the Housing and Planning Bill risks making matters worse.
  • the LGA “First 100 Days” campaign which highlighted there are 1.7 million households on waiting lists for affordable housing across England and that more than 3.4 million adults between 20 and 34 live with their parents.

Council opposes the forced sell off of council housing to pay for this plan and is concerned that the Government also:

  • Fails to address the situation for many local authorities which no longer have any housing stock to sell as they have transferred theirs to housing associations;
  • Fails to address the situation in areas of high housing demand where there are often few suitable sites to build replacement social housing stock;
  • Fails to recognise that this means housing associations will simply be trying to catch up with replacing homes rather than building affordable housing to give more people homes they need

Council notes that even the Conservative Mayor of London has said he did not want to see councils “deprived at a rapid rate of their housing stock” if more homes were not being built to replace them.

Council recognises the desire by many to own their own homes, and suggests that proposals put forward by the Liberal Democrats over a “Rent to Own” model and Shared Ownership housing would represent a better way of reaching this goal.

Council also regrets the following decisions of the Government that will reduce the amount of good quality social housing for rent to local families:

  • The decision that 200,000 out of 275,000 “affordable homes” to be built in this parliament are to be for sale at a price of up to £250,000 and therefore only 75,000 will be built for rent. This means many local families will not be able afford these new “affordable homes”.
  • That a tax will be imposed by the Government on the rents of council tenants to fund discounts for housing association tenants who are rich enough to buy their properties. Taxing families on the lowest incomes to fund discounts for people who may well be much better off.
  • The cuts to section 106 payments from developers which will see fewer social housing properties offered to residents in the city from new builds.

These actions will mean that there is less money for the provision of new social rented properties and less money available to provide services to tenants such as repairs, estate services, youth clubs or play centres that significantly improve the life of families.

Council resolves:

– to work with other neighbouring authorities to oppose the current government proposals to force councils to sell off high value stock (or any equivalent charge based on estimates of high value stock);

– to write to [names of local MPs] asking to support the Council’s position; to speak up in parliament for more social housing and to push for a genuine “one for one” replacement but not at the cost of losing more council housing.

 

Notes:

FT report on the £1 billion shortfall can be found here:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/10e71fca-1036-11e5-bd70-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3d8AP9gLI (FT subscription required)

Details of households on waiting lists can be found here:

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