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Any thoughts about the new Housing Bill anyone?

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Wednesday 2 March 2016 9.19am
The new Housing Bill is just a logical extension of Thatcher's 'Right to Buy' which focussed on privatising Local Authority Housing. Sadly, the person we have to blame for this mess is none other than Adam Smith (a fellow Scot) who proposed that you could not extract 'full mercantile value' from anything as long as it was in communal or community ownership. Clearly, and shamefully, all governments since Thatcher have agreed with this proposition.

Now we have 'Right to Buy' being extended to Housing Association property and it will be interesting to see if this administration attempts to apply 'Right to Buy' to Housing Association property which was built without Housing Grant.

Were that to be the case then the next logical step would be to extend 'Right to Buy' to the whole of the rental sector, Local Authority, Housing Association and Private Rental. Personally, I would support such a move as it would, at a stroke, prick the 'buy to let' bubble.

But, of course, that won't happen.
Wednesday 2 March 2016 10.01am
Jan the old one wrote:
I wondered why my new rent had reduced by One Pound a week, I think I would be happier if it increased by five pounds a week so people could stay in the area where they have lived all their lives, raised a family , worked all their lives, had the same doctor surgery, had treatment at the same hospital, all friends and familiar places...And lastly not least an Area where they have loved and lost, an Area where they belong and Love.
Sorry got carried away there!

Very well said and I couldn't agree with you more.
Thursday 3 March 2016 1.50am
Most of the changes in the Housing Bill make a lot of sense to me (especially somewhere like SE1), but I really struggle with the right to buy (both the extension to HA flats and in general) and in particular the discount on offer. Why is housing that has been developed to support those on lower incomes made available to purchase at below market rates? If it was sold at market rates then fine, this money can be used to develop further housing, but shouldn't the full value be retained by the council/HA and not gifted to the tenant?
Thursday 3 March 2016 8.58am
sjac wrote:
If it was sold at market rates then fine, this money can be used to develop further housing, but shouldn't the full value be retained by the council/HA and not gifted to the tenant?

I wonder whether the contra argument is that - in an ideal word, where of course tenants want to stay in their homes and NOT being greedy to make a quick buck (which sadly there is a lot of) - there is in fact a saving to the council/HA in terms of tenancy management issues and the fact that other than the RTB there will be no further subsidy of the resident of that property. If one calculates the difference between market rent and social rent over, say, 10 years, the RTB discount will paid for itself (and more) over those ten years. The example I have in mind is, for example, a one bedroom flat in Devon Mansions on a social rent of 400 per month and a similar privately rented flat in the same building of 1,400 or 1,500 per month.

Personally, I believe council housing should be preserved for future use and not sold off. As a council tenant, I'm grateful that I have a secure tenancy and that's good enough for me. I have no need to buy the property that I live in because, as long as rent is paid, it is ours for as long as we want it.
Thursday 3 March 2016 11.28am
Gavin Smith wrote:
I wonder whether the contra argument is that - in an ideal word, where of course tenants want to stay in their homes and NOT being greedy to make a quick buck (which sadly there is a lot of) - there is in fact a saving to the council/HA in terms of tenancy management issues and the fact that other than the RTB there will be no further subsidy of the resident of that property. If one calculates the difference between market rent and social rent over, say, 10 years, the RTB discount will paid for itself (and more) over those ten years. The example I have in mind is, for example, a one bedroom flat in Devon Mansions on a social rent of 400 per month and a similar privately rented flat in the same building of 1,400 or 1,500 per month.

Wouldn't that fly in the face of the oft quoted statement that council housing, once built, is completely self funding? And not sure how the difference between market and council rents helps the council/HA - they don't see any of the increase.

I sometimes wonder if it's simply an ideological bribe: If you're willing to purchase your council flat at a discount and reduce the social housing stock for your own gain, then you would be a massive hypocrite if you support any campaign to increase social housing in the future. It's essentially a down payment on your Tory membership...
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