Thursday, June 4, 2015

…but it wasn’t even close to being delivered

Kerslake: One-to-one council home replacement was 'deliverable'

"Under the policy (discounts on council house sales) the government said every council home sold would be replaced on a one-for-one basis. However, DCLG statistics show only around one in 10 properties have been replaced". In garbled English the minister explained that "it was a policy that was numerically balanced but the reality has been that the capacity for how local authorities, for whatever reason, find land or opportunities is such they haven’t been able to replace at the rate of the sale". So, the plan was OK, it was just reality 'on the ground' that scuppered it.

Posted by icarus @ 07:31 PM (5330 views)
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5 thoughts on “…but it wasn’t even close to being delivered

  • If there’s a block just google the LGC title.

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  • The idea is for councils to sell their most expensive houses and use the money to build cheaper ones elsewhere.
    So this idea works in theory but (a) it’s still a waste of money (and unfair) to give massive discounts to tenants and (b) they probably won’t use the money to build houses because houses are too expensive. That’s why they’re selling them off – to raise money.

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  • A terrible policy – economic vandalism – but they could have at least made it one in, one out, i.e. no sales until a replacement has been built. Better still, spread the wealth of magically created land value by renting out newly built council houses at full market rent and using the perpetual revenue stream to reduce taxes on genuine private property, i.e. wages, turnover and profits. Everyone gets a piece of the action instead of the lucky few chosen to be socially engineered into Tories via a fat bribe

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  • Main points from Lord Kerslake (former CEO of Homes and Communities Agency and Permanent Secretary to Dept of Communities and Local Government) in his maiden speech in House of Lords earlier this week:

    HAs have built for sale as well as for rent and have developed schemes to promote home ownership. The building and the schemes have been funded largely through private borrowing against future rental streams. The proposed RTB policy, combined with changes in benefits, will make HAs AND lenders much more cautious about investing in new-build and regeneration.

    Kerslake also doubts that the receipts from the sale of high-value local authority properties can cover the cost of the discount, the re-provision of new affordable homes and a realistic contribution to the brownfield regeneration fund.

    The high-end council houses targeted for sale will be in central London and these councils could lose a third of their stock. Using the money from those sales will mean a substantial flow of funds out of London, potentially of the order of £5 billion, to other parts of the country to make the numbers balance. The level of sales in London could reach 5,000 a year, which would be almost impossible for the London boroughs (and/or HAs) to match with new-build affordable homes—a fact borne out by the current experience of the one-for-one policy (see intro). This loss of affordable homes and redistribution of funds out of London at a time when its housing needs are so acute seems to be completely counterproductive.

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  • Oh, wait a minute. Those high-end, local authority residences in Wandsworth, Westminster and K & Chelsea to be sold to pay for the HA discounts will never be empty – so they’ll never be sold.

    And as M Wolf wrote in the FT recently “This policy (selling off council housing) is a part of the reason local authorities stopped building new houses. In England, building of new houses by local authorities collapsed from 135,700 units in 1969-70 to 1,230 in 2014-15. This largely explains the fall in overall building from 306,870 units in 1969-70 to a mere 125,110 last year.

    And, he says, despite the government’s blather about “home ownership aspiration”…..”it has set no requirement that the acquired (HA, RTB) houses become owner-occupied”.

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