Commenting on the news that the “Pay to Stay” scheme for council tenants earning over a certain income will now be voluntary, not compulsory, Gerald Vernon Jackson, LGA Lib Dem Group Leader said: ” We are pleased the Government has accepted our call for Pay to Stay to be voluntary for councils, which will be a huge relief to households across the country.

“Making Pay to Stay mandatory would have affected thousands of social housing tenants across the country, with the average affected households seeing their rents rise by £1,065 a year. Councils would have needed to invest millions in new IT systems, hire new staff and write to over a million social housing tenants to try and understand household income and approve individual tenant bills.

“The LGA has been working hard to ensure that the Government was aware of the difficult, lengthy and costly process in seeking to implement the policy – which was likely to cause anxiety for families and be hugely unpopular with tenants.

“Pay to stay risked becoming an expensive distraction from our effort to build homes. A renaissance of council housebuilding is needed now more than ever if we are to stand any chance of solving our housing crisis.”

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