Think tank urges councils to sell off expensive social housing
Local authorities should sell off their most expensive housing stock and reinvest the proceeds in building cheaper homes, influential think tank the Policy Exchange has reported.
According to research issued today, council homes worth more than average local properties make up more than a fifth (21.8%) of total social housing stock. These 816,000 homes have a total value of £159bn nationally – with London boroughs owning the lion’s share of this pot, almost £72bn, compared with a mere £4.4bn housing stock held by North East Councils.
Roughly 3.5% of high value stock becomes available for sale each year due to residents moving out or dying, figures show. Disposing of these more valuable, vacant properties, could raise £4.5bn annually - cash which could be spent building between 80,000 to 170,000 new social homes a year, the authors calculated.
Entitled ‘Ending expensive social tenancies’ the report claims this approach could herald the largest social building programme for forty years, with the potential to reduce the housing waiting list by at least 250,000, and at most 600,000 households in five years.
However, to make this work as a policy, a regional cap on the value of social properties, akin to the Housing Benefit cap, would have to be imposed.
Report author, Alex Morton said: ‘Expensive social housing is costly, unpopular and unfair. Social housing tenants deserve a roof over their heads, but not one better than most people can afford, particularly as expensive social housing means less social housing and so longer waiting lists for most people in need.’
This Think Tanks seem to think that Local Authorities have not been dealing with these issues for decades already, and may just possibly have an existing strategy in place. 3/10 for effort.exrugbyman, ex local government, Doncaster, Added: Tuesday, 21 August 2012 09:29 AM
It is amazing how so much bovine excrement got plenty of air time. "Expensive social housing is costly..." obviously passed his editor unnoticed. Is this the first stage of equity cleansing - completed when councils find ways of precipitating tenant departures. How do the capital receipts of rich councils get recycled to poor ones to build with (if land is available). As with Thatcher sales of the eighties the new build will not happen. Forward to the past and to the new favelas.Patrick Newman, ex local government, Stevenage, Added: Monday, 20 August 2012 06:18 PM
Mmm, piggies getting plumper: "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." The article doesn't mention that Policy Exchange is an influential conservative think tank (I know, a statement matching the think tank itself - full of oxy-morons)which changes the political neutrality afforded the statement here. Pure ideology in other words, so where's the balance please?Steven Chandler, Added: Monday, 20 August 2012 05:37 PM
|Back||Top of page|