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Pay to stay to be voluntary for councils - LGA responds

Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association responds to the Government announcement that Pay to Stay will be voluntary for councils.

"We are pleased that Gavin Barwell and Philip Hammond have listened to and accepted our call for Pay to Stay to be voluntary for councils, which will be a huge relief to households across the country.

"We have been working hard with the Government to make sure it was aware of the difficult, lengthy and costly process in seeking to implement the policy - which was likely to cause anxiety for families and be hugely unpopular with tenants. 

"Making Pay to Stay mandatory would have affected thousands of social housing tenants across the country, with the average affected households seeing their rents rise by £1,065 a year. Councils would have needed to invest millions in new IT systems, hire new staff and write to over a million social housing tenants to try and understand household income and approve individual tenant bills.

"Pay to Stay risked becoming an expensive distraction from our effort to build homes. A renaissance of council housebuilding is needed now more than ever if we are to stand any chance of solving our housing crisis."

Building our homes, communities and future: preliminary findings from the LGA Housing Commission

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