Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015

Housing associations say they'll sue if the Tories force them to sell off homes under right-to-buy

Independent: Help to Buy Votes

Housing associations set to be crippled by Conservative plans to extend the right-to-buy policy will launch a legal challenge against the move, they have said.
The Tories announced today that they will force housing associations to sell off homes at a fraction of their value despite warnings that the policy could cause the not-for-profits to go bankrupt..
Other housing association chief executives are quoted as saying they “would be surprised” if a legal challenge did not happen because the policy would risk the viability of the entire social housing sector.

Posted by debtserf @ 11:32 PM (2845 views)
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18 Comments

1. debtserf said...

How strange that the son of Thatcher's housing minister, the late Ian Gow, now owns at least 40 former council houses!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 11:35PM Report Comment
 

2. tenyearstogetmymoneyback said...

My first post for years, but this badly thought out policy has lost the Cons my vote.

One of the few expanding employers locally is a housing association who took over the offices of my former employer Plessey.
To quote their web site "We own and manage approximately 18000 homes and maintain a further 35000". Judging from the
size of the building and car park they must employ a few hundred people and I know there are other maintenance depots
elsewhere. I have no idea how efficient they are but would guess economies of scale should help.

If this scheme is implemented how many of their houses will end up in the hands of the slumlords, who as other posts point out,
will try to maximise profits and minimise maintenance ?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 07:11AM Report Comment
 

3. cornishman said...

tenyearstogetmymoneyback said... "...but this badly thought out policy has lost the Cons my vote."

The Tories have been coming up with various pledges in attempts to woo different groups to vote for them - but no thought appears to have been given to how those same ideas might actually turn people off voting for them. Buy a million housing association votes - lose 9 million private rented sector votes. Crazy idea.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 08:36AM Report Comment
 

4. taffee said...

@2

There have been reports/documentaries about the horrific state of some properties.in the rented sector
Particularly in London and the cramming of families on housing benefit into one room

When/if this farcical economic situation of a housing boom during 'the worst crisis since the 30s' does fall apart
Then all will be revealed.I also think people who bought rabbit butchers in 'gentrified' areas in London
Are soon to be shocked by falling prices in a Hellboy they will never resell at what they paid In their lifetime.

Whilst being handed a horrific maintenance billions a year!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 08:46AM Report Comment
 

5. taffee said...

Meant maintenance BILL ONCE a year!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 08:48AM Report Comment
 

6. taffee said...

Meant also rabbit HUTCHES

FED UP with this predictive text rubbish

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 08:49AM Report Comment
 

7. Billdarblay said...

taffee - you are forgiven! We vaguely knew what you were getting at anyway.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 10:08AM Report Comment
 

8. sneaker said...

I've got a great wheeze - let's sell it all to those lovely offshore people. They might even buy them in one chunk.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 10:37AM Report Comment
 

9. Bigpig said...

Does anyone know where I can find these rabbit butchers I've been hearing about? Apparently it's the next big thing. Very eco.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 10:37AM Report Comment
 

10. sneaker said...

What a great scheme - sure they will be snapped up by all those wonderful offshore buyers!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 10:37AM Report Comment
 

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12. icarus said...

Councils have had to house the needy in ex-council houses owned by private landlords at a market rent subsidised by Housing Benefit. Winners are winners, losers are....subsidised by you-know-who.

cornish @3 - it's not even a million - the NHF calculates that 220,000 would be able to buy under this new 'scheme' - and most of them probably oppose it (and how many of that 220,000 are really 'needy' enough to be paying subsidised rents anyway).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 11:09AM Report Comment
 

13. Ex-tory said...

This looks like a very expensive way to buy votes, assuming that only housing association tenants can have their voting intentions altered by the new policy. However, by removing properties from the social housing sector, more people in future will be forced to rent privately. This will drive up private sector rents, and therefore be good for the rentiers, who are a prime target for the Tories. However, in order to buy the votes of the rentiers, I think they need to make the effects of the new policy more explicit. At the moment it looks as though it is intended primarily to help housing association tenants which can't possibly be the main intention !

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 12:15PM Report Comment
 

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15. icarus said...

A very well-informed friend just phoned and told me a few things about Housing Associations in London.

Many third parties assist tenants to buy under right-to-buy with a view to the former becoming private landlords (so that 220,000 figure may need to be revised).

Housing Associations operating in Camden, where he has first-hand knowledge, are trying hard to get tenants out in order to refurbish their flats (£15k for 1-bed, £20k for 2-bed in a block he knows) in order to rent privately @ £450pw (2-bed) instead of the old £200pw. Evictions, refurbs and new tenants have already happened. Pressure to evict includes solicitors letters for those not in ('denying access') when somebody calls to check the boiler. The tenant may have been away when the ONE letter arrived informing him/her about the visit. Taking tenants to court for one month's arrears and examining small print on tenancy agreements to find ways to winkle out a tenant are others. HAs in that part also treat staff poorly - poor wages, use of unqualified staff etc. Conducted visits to the housing blocks of groups appearing to be potential investors take place too.

These HAs are effectively already privatised. It's on a par with the privatisation of overseas 'aid' and 'development' in which ex-civil servants made millions by concentrating on investments in shopping malls and mobile phones instead of helping indigenous farmers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 12:45PM Report Comment
 

16. clockslinger said...

Interesting. Is a housing association a legal entity that has any protection under Article 1, Protocol 1 ECHR,? I'm not sure it is. I think it's an entity exercising a quasi state function funded through the Hosing Corporation ( so an arm of a QUANGO). If that's right I am not sure, if nobody is forced to buy their HA house or forced to leave, that any breach of the “right to the peaceful enjoyment of one’s possessions" arises. I'm happy to look into it further though for an advance of five thousand guineas from the Tory party treasurer (you a**hole).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 04:38PM Report Comment
 

17. cyril said...

clockslinger - In the old days the Housing Corporation gave out capital to subsidise housing develoment and in return the housing associations had to play by their rules (e.g. rent controls etc.). Nowadays there's no capital money left so I don't know how HAs fund development - for one thing there is more shared ownership which is financially viable, but also maybe by putting up the rent (see icarus @9). HA's also had a thing called Right to Acquire which was similar to right to buy but less discount.
So although HAs were regulated by the Housing Corporation, they were always regarded in law as private sector and their debts don't count towards public borrowing.
The Housing Corporation was abolished in the bonfire of the quangos - replaced by another quango the Homes and Communities Agency

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 05:10PM Report Comment
 

18. iguana said...

clockslinger; the majority if not all will be registered charities, 'the forced to sell' will no doubt run contrary to their defined charitable aims and objectives. Additionally all that I know of are limited liability entities, the directors therefor have a fiduciary duty to the shareholders, can a politically inspired ruse override these obligations?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 06:56PM Report Comment
 

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