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UK/Ipswich: New government boost for right to buy tenants

14:46 06 January 2014

Ed Balls visited Ipswich to open new council houses in Whitton Church Lane.

Ed Balls visited Ipswich to open new council houses in Whitton Church Lane.

Council tenants are to be given more help if they want to buy their homes, local government secretary Eric Pickles has announced.

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The maximum discount that can be offered to tenants is to be increased and money raised from the sale of social housing will be put back into building more such homes.

However the number of home purchases under right to buy legislation has fallen considerably since it as a key part of the Thatcher revolution of the 1980s.

Over the last two years just 71 of Ipswich council’s 8,200 council homes were sold off under right to buy legislation.

In Colchester the number was even fewer – 29 of the 6,300 homes. And there were similar proportions sold in Babergh, Mid Suffolk, and Tendring.

Many councils transferred their stock of homes to housing associations back in the 1980s or 1990s.

Mr Pickles said: “For years the Right to Buy was slowly strangled, with a miserly cap on discounts killing the prospect of home ownership for most social tenants.

“We don’t think governments should be in the business of vetoing aspiration. That’s why we reinvigorated the Right To Buy.”

However the Ipswich councillor responsible for housing, Labour’s John Mowles, was not impressed by the government’s efforts to sell social housing.

He said: “We hear a lot from them about RTB – the Right To Buy – but we’re more interested in another RTB, the Responsibility To Build.”

The country was suffering from a lack of social housing – and the borough was working to ease the situation in Ipswich by building more council houses for the first time in a generation.

New homes were handed over to tenants in Whitton Church Lane just before Christmas, and work is due to start in the spring on a major new project at Bader Close on Priory Heath.

Mr Mowles said: “When the right to buy came in there was a serious fall in the number of homes that were available to rent. That has helped cause the housing problems that we are facing today.

“It is now vital to get more social homes built – that is why our building programme is so important.”

Mr Mowles added that government rules meant that new council homes currently being built could not be bought by tenants for less than their building cost for the next 15 years, saying: “We are building badly-needed homes for tenants – and they will continue to be available for social housing.”

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13 comments

  • NOW PUT MY REAL COMMENT ON.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • brand new houses given to foreigners bloody disgrace!!!!!!

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    cfc1976

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • cfc1976 what a disgraceful comment! How do you know that the family in the photo haven't been living here for years, working and paying taxes? As someone who does pay a hefty amount of tax and council tax I would rather it went to a hard working family who were originally immigrants than people who have lived locally for years but can't be bothered to get a job. If these people pay into the system then they deserve the same access to housing as everyone else.

    Report this comment

    alittlebitwoolly

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • TERENCE MANNING

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I have know people in the past who have purchased their council house for a reduced amount, kept it for three years then turned around and sold it. The worst part is they then turned around and moved right back on the council list after making money from council property. It should be a one time deal to purchase council property to prevent fraud of tax payers money.

    Report this comment

    carrottop

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • What this photo is really saying is , There is going to be more foreigner voter's in this country soon than English voter's ,,God save the UK before it's well & truly to late

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Surely that type of key would be used on the backdoor, not at the front? Actually, thinking about it, I'm not convinced it will fit anyway.

    Report this comment

    Angry Slipper

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Poppy's Dad: Royal Mail....need I say more? The tories are happy to sell off public services at a cut price and then take more from the taxpayer to cover the deficit.

    Report this comment

    skrich

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • The right to buy caused the drastic shortage of council houses in the first place , now we are short of them and they are thinking of selling more of them for less than they are worth ! You couldn't make it up , why would anyone sell something for less than its worth ?

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I think the (very badly and awkwardly staged) picture says it all.

    Report this comment

    blue&white

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • Why has not this paper reported the two houses that had a cost of only £6000 to be knocked into one is now going to cost over£15000?

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

  • Well said Blue & White. cant say any more if not the censors will appear. free speech rules

    Report this comment

    a west

    Monday, January 6, 2014

  • I have know people in the past who have purchased their council house for a reduced amount, kept it for three years then turned around and sold it. The worst part is they then turned around and moved right back on the council list after making money from council property. It should be a one time deal to purchase council property to prevent fraud of tax payers money.

    Report this comment

    carrottop

    Monday, January 6, 2014

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