Recently I wrote about a ruse by Labour-run Enfield Council to transfer their housing stock in order to scupper the right to buy. Perhaps “ruse” is unfair. The council has been pretty open about their motivation.
Some other councils are adopting the same approach.
The Labour MP Gareth Thomas says:
“A number of local authorities from Sheffield, Thurrock, Enfield, Ealing and even Sutton, have set up Council-owned Companies to help them build new or lease existing properties to meet local housing need.”
Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis said:
“It is disappointing that some enemies of aspiration want to kick away the housing ladder from hard-working people. Encourage such evasion mechanisms is profoundly bad advice, as we will stop any attempt to sidestep the legal rights that eligible social tenants have to buy their home.
“Under the last administration, the Right to Buy was allowed to wither on the vine, killing off the hopes of home ownership for thousands of social tenants because of a miserly discount. We’ve changed that, reinvigorating the scheme by increasing the discount available to open it up to more tenants.
“Since then, nearly 30,000 council and housing association tenants have been helped into home ownership through the scheme, with receipts from Right to Buy sales reinvested in building more affordable homes to rent.
“We do not agree with any proposals that threaten this nor have any plans to change it.”
I would trust that a Conservative Government would ensure that the right to buy applied to tenants of Council-owned housing companies – just as it does to council tenants. So all those councils, such as Enfield, will have achieved by their wheeze will have been to make a few rich lawyers even richer for advising on loopholes which end up being closed anyway.
But how revealing that Labour politicians are seeking to go to such efforts to deny council tenants the chance of home ownership – especially as the proceeeds from sales are helping to pay for new homes to be built.