Discounts of up to £78,600 are encouraging the ongoing sale of Council house – and the stock of homes in St Albans District has now reduced to under 5,000. Speaking at the meeting of the Full Council on 21 February, Labour’s Roma Mills pointed out that The District Council was not able to replace the homes that have been sold – and we now have over 100 families in temporary accommodation with many others living in overcrowded or unsuitable properties. Roma quoted the report from Inside Housing which found that in 72 councils 12,000 council houses had been sold since 2014 but only 4,309 houses have been built in the same time.
Trying to replace lost Council housing by negotiating a percentage of affordable housing on residential development sites is not working – the Council has only managed to secure 6 units of social rented housing via the planning route since 2015.
‘We need to be able to build Council houses again if we are going to meet the needs of local people on low incomes’ said Roma. The Local Government Assocation has already faced up to this and has been lobbying Government to allow Councils to borrow to build and to keep 100% of Council house sales to invest in new local homes.’
The Labour Motion was passed without objection and the Council will now be writing to the two local MPs to lobby them to put pressure on Government ministers.
For information contact Roma Mills, 07949825026.
Wording of the Resolution:
This Council supports the Local Government’s call for the Government to:
- allow Councils to set Right to Buy discounts locally and keep 100% of sale receipts to replace local homes,
- scrap the cap on the amount Councils can borrow to invest in new and existing homes,
To this end, this Council will write to the Members of Parliament for St Albans and the Hitchin and Harpenden constituencies to seek their support in securing these powers.