LGA - Queen's Speech: Right-to-buy extension must see homes replaced one-for-one

28 May 2015 01:10 PM

Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the Local Government Association's Housing board, responded to the announcement of a Housing Bill in the Queen's Speech, which includes the extension of Right-to-buy to housing association tenants.

"Councils are ambitious to increase housebuilding across all tenures and support measures to help people into home ownership.

"At the same time we still have to deliver affordable housing for future generations and those already on waiting lists. We will work with government on how these proposals could be funded without any unintended consequences on councils' ability to invest, and ensure communities include a mix of homes.

"The current Right-to-buy system only allows councils to replace half or fewer of homes they have sold. The Government has rightly promised every home sold under these proposals will be replaced on a one-for-one basis and we need to make sure new proposals enable that to happen.

"Councils understand the need to provide more homes for first-time buyers and are already taking steps to make first-time homes more affordable. New starter homes cannot be built in isolation or without any wider community needs. They must come with the infrastructure needed and include a mix of housing.

"If we are to deliver the homes and infrastructure desperately needed, councils must have a lead role in housebuilding. Local authorities could build half a million new homes and transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of families if given greater powers, resources and flexibility."