21 September 2017
Boost for housing as Greens push Council to buy back even more council homes lost under ‘Right to Buy’
Brighton and Hove City Council has doubled the amount it will spend on buying back former council homes, thanks to a Green proposal agreed at yesterday’s Housing and New Homes Committee.
Members of the Council’s committee agreed to a Green proposal to double the funds available to buy private homes on Council estates from £1m to £2m, a move which Greens hope will boost the council’s capacity to provide affordable homes. Councillor David Gibson, Green spokesperson on Housing said the Council has the money to bring even more homes sold under the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme back into use as permanent homes or temporary accommodation. A report to the Committee revealed that over £3.959m is available in the Council’s housing account reserves.
The agreed proposals will now go to the policy, resources and growth committee on October 12th. In a positive move, members of the committee also agreed that any houses purchased under the scheme should be offered at social and living wage rent levels in order to be more affordable to people on low incomes.
Councillor David Gibson, the Green spokesperson for Housing and Living Rent campaigner, commented:
“There is a chronic shortage of affordable housing in the city and so we desperately need more social housing. The Council has £3.959m in reserves in the housing revenue account – funds specifically designated for housing – and have underspent this budget.
“Rather than sitting on this money, we need to be making bold interventions to curb the housing crisis. So it is great news that following our proposals the Council is now prepared to spend almost double than originally planned on buying back homes that were sold to the private market under the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme.
“Houses bought by the Council could be rented between social rent and living wage rent levels. With rents skyrocketing and the cost of living or buying in Brighton and Hove well above the national average, this is a major victory for people on low incomes. The Council should be doing more to provide desperately needed affordable homes and this boost will give us a better chance of doing so.”
1. Attached: Original Green amendment
2. Final decision reached by Cttee:Decision sheet details on public web site