Councils could be forced to sell their housing stock by the secretary of state, after changes were made to the wording of the Housing and Planning Bill.
Originally, councils would have been expected to sell their ‘high value’ properties to fund the extension of right to buy to housing association tenants. However, the wording has now been changed to ‘higher value,’ sparking fears that more homes would fall within the definition.
The amendment also gave the secretary of state powers over ‘any category of housing the secretary of state considers appropriate as a comparator’ when determining the definition of ‘higher value’.
Local authorities will be forced to fork out an upfront levy to the Government based on what the secretary of state defined as ‘higher value’ housing.
Some have raised concerns that the upfront nature of the levy could push councils to 'raid reserves or take out short-term loans'.
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