Local authorities will not be forced to sell high-value council homes until at least April 2019 after lobbying from the sector.
Under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, councils had been expecting to pay a levy from the proceeds of the sell off but, in a letter seen by The MJ, communities secretary Sajid Javid confirmed they will not have to make a payment in 2017/18 or 2018/19.
Mr Javid, who had been expected to enter into agreements with councils over how much of the proceeds they would have to fund the delivery of new homes and how much they would have to hand over to the Government, said Whitehall was still considering how the legislation might be implemented.
Islington LBC’s executive member for housing, Cllr Diarmaid Ward, who has been urging the Government to drop the policy, said: ‘Islington would be the worst affected borough in the country by this policy, with estimates suggesting we could lose around 300 homes per year, which is why we have been campaigning against this policy from the start.
‘The secretary of state’s announcement that councils will not have to make payments for two years is a big win for our campaign, but we need the Government to drop this policy altogether.
‘Forcing councils to sell-off much needed council homes makes no sense.
‘We will continue to campaign with local people against this unfair policy and other damaging Government housing plans while continuing the largest council house building programme Islington has seen for 30 years.’