Tuesday, 31 July 2012
CABINET APPROVES RIGHT TO BUY AGREEMENT
Thanet District Council’s Cabinet has approved the release of money from the sale of council homes so that it can be used to fund extra social housing in the area.
An agreement at the cabinet meeting of Thursday 26 July means that the council has joined many other English local authorities in ensuring that additional ‘Right to Buy’ receipts are invested in affordable homes.
The move follows a government announcement in April, when the cap on Right to Buy discounts was lifted to £75,000 – generating interest in the sale of more properties.
This has led to an increase in enquiries from interested tenants in Thanet, with nine enquiries for the first quarter of the year, compared to 15 for the whole of 2011/12.
But to keep the extra funds, local authorities have an obligation to enter in to an agreement with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Currently, the council is looking at schemes that could qualify for the re-investment of any receipt retained, including buying properties to covert into affordable housing. There are also plans to build on garage sites that are currently under-used.
The council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr David Green, said: “The council is very keen to deliver the maximum amount of affordable homes in Thanet, and the new legislation will help us to achieve this. The scheme ensures that at least one new affordable home is created for every one sold under right to buy.
“By allocating money from the sale of council homes towards financing new affordable homes, we can ensure that some of those not on the housing ladder can access affordable housing. This is excellent news for the district and its residents.”