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Ministers urged to halt right-to-buy scheme

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Oh it’s almost as if we’ve been saying this all along 🙄

 

More than 40% of former council homes now rented out by private landlords

Ministers are facing calls to shelve Margaret Thatcher’s totemic right-to-buy scheme after a devastating analysis revealed that more than 40% of council houses sold under its terms in London are now privately rented.

The damning findings of an analysis of Freedom of Information data also show that:

 Tens of millions of pounds are being paid by local authorities to rent former council homes in order to house growing numbers of homeless families;

 Some councils have bought back their former homes at more than six times the amount they sold them for;

 Hundreds of private landlords now own five or more right-to-buy properties. There are several London boroughs where more than half the houses sold through the policy are now in the hands of private landlords. Private renters have to pay more than people living in council-owned properties.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/19/ministers-urged-halt-right-buy-council-homes-rented

 

 

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Scotland banned right to buy in 2016. Interesting the article doesn't reference this or look to see the impact of the ban. 

My local authority is also building council houses (not housing association houses). According to this we have a waiting list of 8.5k homes and we are building 3k homes in the next 4 years.

https://www.westlothian.gov.uk/new-1000-houses

Unfortunately I know some of these are actually demolishing old houses and building new ones, but there don't seem to be clear numbers on that. When this was done recently in a street near mine the original tenants were moved out of the old houses and then back into the new ones. Doesn't seem a good alignment of resources to demand, as these new houses had disabled access not on most council property.

In the late 70s my gran was moved from one side of Aberdeen to the other because two other kids had left home and she only needed a 2 bed house. It's a shame councils aren't more practive with their housing stock allocation today.

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Given how glacial this govt likes to move with this kind of policy (see lettings fees ban) then I suspect that any vaguely desirable council houses would all get hurriedly snapped up prior to any RTB ban being implemented. 

The only ones remaining would be the scummiest ones in the scummiest areas that nobody in their right mind would buy anyway even with a RTB discount.

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3 hours ago, regprentice said:

Scotland banned right to buy in 2016. Interesting the article doesn't reference this or look to see the impact of the ban. 

It ends in Wales next week: https://gov.wales/topics/housing-and-regeneration/housing-supply/buying-and-selling/council-house/?lang=en

Wasn't the argument that it makes people more 'invested' in their area, more likely to take care of their property, less maintenance costs for councils?

Maybe it would be acceptable if councils / housing associations were forced to replace houses lost through RTB on a 1:1 basis?

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Right to buy was probably the most perfect policy ever for the conservatives, it ticked every single box for them, ideologically-shrink back the state and create a nation of homeowners, politically-weaken labour councils and create new home owning conservative voters,  and economically-easy money for the government. what other policy could  deliver all that? 

However, it had zero to do with a planned housing policy(why would they care?) as we are seeing now. 

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1 hour ago, nothernsoul said:

Right to buy was probably the most perfect policy ever for the conservatives, it ticked every single box for them, ideologically-shrink back the state and create a nation of homeowners, politically-weaken labour councils and create new home owning conservative voters,  and economically-easy money for the government. what other policy could  deliver all that? 

However, it had zero to do with a planned housing policy(why would they care?) as we are seeing now. 

and the houses were probably end of life condition wise 

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I can't understand why the right to buy houses were sold without some sort of covenant banning anyone from renting them out so as to ensure that they remain in the hands of owner occupiers.

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We have sold off many of our assets on the cheap........you know when something is sold to rent back things are not financially secure......take the money to fill a gap, short-termism....tomorrow is tomorrows problem.....now it is todays big problem, the money spent, the assets sold, but still the growing rent bills require paying.;)

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4 hours ago, nothernsoul said:

Right to buy was probably the most perfect policy ever for the conservatives, it ticked every single box for them, ideologically-shrink back the state and create a nation of homeowners, politically-weaken labour councils and create new home owning conservative voters,  and economically-easy money for the government. what other policy could  deliver all that? 

However, it had zero to do with a planned housing policy(why would they care?) as we are seeing now. 

Right to buy (and privatisation in general) was basically deficit spending on a huge scale. Sell off the capital, spend the money on day to day consumption, keep going until you run out of family silver.

Fair enough if the state wants to get out of housing as an asset class but really that money should be put into a sovereign wealth fund Norway-style. Otherwise it's one generation dining out on what previous generations paid in and then leaving nothing for the poor bstards who come next.

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4 hours ago, Diver Dan said:

I can't understand why the right to buy houses were sold without some sort of covenant banning anyone from renting them out so as to ensure that they remain in the hands of owner occupiers.

In NI there used to be a clause in the purchase contract that if the property was to be sold within 10 years of purchase that the HE had first dibs on repurchasing the property.  It was just ignored. There was no clause to stop people from mewing, moving on and renting out the property. 

From tenant to private landlord within a year in some cases. 

  

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Only 42%?!

Jeesh if Thatcher wasn't already dead she'd have been murdered by now.

Also we do not need any more houses built. I read that nationwide there are about 600,000 empty properties, meanwhile winter 2018 homeless figure: around 320,000.

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It really was Thatcher's worst policy and I could see that at the time - even though I was a middle-class young teenager at the time.

It really has gone as I could see.

There is however one factor few note. The Labour government preceding this bankrupted the country so badly that the Conservatives were looking for anything that could raise revenue - this was a fire-sale to keep the lights on. Especially as maintenance of the council houses was draining, people treated the government as a money-pipe and didn't care about the properties they were given.

This whole thing has a lot more historical complications than are immediately clear.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, EnglishinWales said:

That's not true. People took good care of their council houses back when there was security of tenure. 

I thought that council houses still had security of tenure.  When did it stop?

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And while they're at it, cancel Help to Buy, too.  It was always obvious that it was only going to inflate the prices of newbuilds, which are so often overpriced per sq m anyway, compared with older-builds.  

When RTB was introduced, I doubt that anyone foresaw the ludicrous rise in house prices relative to incomes, and the housing crisis that would ensue.  

As for Labour, who so love to berate Thatcher for Right to Buy, if they were so violently against it, why the hell didn't they cancel  it?  They had plenty of time in power to do so.  

Answer - because they thought it would lose them too many votes, since surprise, surprise, plenty of lifelong  Labour voters had either taken advantage of RTB, or were hoping to do so. 

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2 minutes ago, Mrs Bear said:

And while they're at it, cancel Help to Buy, too.  It was always obvious that it was only going to inflate the prices of newbuilds, which are so often overpriced per sq m anyway, compared with older-builds.  

When RTB was introduced, I doubt that anyone foresaw the ludicrous rise in house prices relative to incomes, and the housing crisis that would ensue.  

As for Labour, who so love to berate Thatcher for Right to Buy, if they were so violently against it, why the hell didn't they cancel  it?  They had plenty of time in power to do so.  

Answer - because they thought it would lose them too many votes, since surprise, surprise, plenty of lifelong  Labour voters had either taken advantage of RTB, or were hoping to do so. 

Very true.

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20 hours ago, Diver Dan said:

I can't understand why the right to buy houses were sold without some sort of covenant banning anyone from renting them out so as to ensure that they remain in the hands of owner occupiers.

When Labour get in everything will be free for everyone 

13 hours ago, EnglishinWales said:

Also we do not need any more houses built. I read that nationwide there are about 600,000 empty properties, meanwhile winter 2018 homeless figure: around 320,000.

I wonder how many of these are in London bought by foreign investors (money launderers?) and are probably out of the price range of most potential buyers.  

I think that foreign nationals should not be allowed to buy in the UK.  

9 hours ago, TwoWolves said:

The Labour government preceding this bankrupted the country so badly that the Conservatives were looking for anything that could raise revenue - this was a fire-sale to keep the lights on. Especially as maintenance of the council houses was draining, people treated the government as a money-pipe and didn't care about the properties they were given.

This whole thing has a lot more historical complications than are immediately clear.

Sadly Labour always spend spend spend and leave it to the incoming govt to sort the mess (not that I am a massive fan of the Tories but see them as the better of 2 evils)

As  a child I was brought up on a council estate and peopkle really looked after their homes.  When I went back to have a look a few months ago the place was desolate, full of migrants who take no care of the homes externally and with gardens do overgrown I took photos.  

No idea if these are still in LA ownership or private landlord but it was horrifying to see homes treated so badly.  

1 hour ago, EnglishinWales said:

That's not true. People took good care of their council houses back when there was security of tenure. 

Agreed

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31 minutes ago, happyguy said:

 

When Labour get in everything will be free for everyone 

Where in my comment did I mention any political party? Stop using stupid non-sequiturs and straw-men arguments.

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6 minutes ago, happyguy said:

Sorry mate I like your posts many of which I agree with.

However if a person is going to be a rude tw*t while they hide on a pc screen I will be rude back.

I meant no offence if he felt I had taken anything he said out of context all he had to do was to say so politely.

All the best to you.

Fair dos was just a bit surprised is all. And likewise - all the best! 

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44 minutes ago, happyguy said:

I did not say u did - you can be rude on a pc screen big man well done. Shut your mouth u knob. 

I don't think he was being that rude to you apart from the word stupid.

I say that as someone who agrees with your comments about Labour and many of your other posts.

Edited by iamnumerate

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On 20/01/2019 at 07:10, regprentice said:

In the late 70s my gran was moved from one side of Aberdeen to the other because two other kids had left home and she only needed a 2 bed house. It's a shame councils aren't more practive with their housing stock allocation today.

My parents bought their council house in the early 80s. They did so on the assumption that a new council house would be built. My dad still lives there. It's an end house in a terrace of 4. A very healthy widow in her mid 80s occupies the only house that' s still council owned. So she's rattling around in a 3 bedroom house that a family could be occupying. If she wanted to downsize then the council will find her a flat or bungalow tout suite, but all her memories are in that house. 

Admittedly my dad's over occupiing his house, as is the neighbour inbetween. 3 persons living in 3 3 bedroomed houses, so that's 6 bedrooms not being fully utilised. I think there's a couple living in the 4th house so that's maybe another 2 bedrooms! 

 

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