Our colleagues at the LGA Liberal Democrat Group have pulled together a template council motion and accompanying spreadsheet of housing waiting lists in England from 1997-2014.
The motion is included below, and ALDC members can download the motion as an editable MS Word document and the MS Excel waiting lists spreadsheet from our File Library.
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Draft motion on proposed “Right to Buy” for Housing Association Tenants
– you may want to tailor this according to whether your authority is a stock holding authority or not;
– we also suggest that you contact your local housing associations in your ward / council area, (including smaller charities eg those running almhouses) to ask what they think of this and what effect they think it will have.
RIGHT TO BUY FOR HOUSING ASSOCIATION TENANTS
This Council notes:
– the new Government’s proposal to extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants, to be paid for by selling off the most expensive Council Housing stock;
– with alarm the shortage of affordable rented homes [in our area] with [INSERT FIGURE HERE] [on our council’s housing waiting list] and is very concerned that the current government plans risk making matters far worse.
- the recent 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;
- that a recent opinion poll showed that just 16% of the public believed that extending Right to Buy to housing association tenants would be the most useful way of tackling the affordability crisis; the public’s top choice was to help housing associations or councils to build more affordable homes, selected by 46% of the public;
- the recent report from June 2015 which shows that there could be a funding gap of over £1 billion to pay for the scheme.
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 notes that there are existing routes for housing association tenants to own their own properties – some Housing Association tenants already have the Right to Acquire.
– to work with other neighbouring authorities and housing associations to oppose the current government proposals;
– to write to [names of local MPs] asking to support the Council’s position; to speak up in parliament for more social housing and not less and to push for a genuine “one for one” replacement but not at the cost of losing more council housing.
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