The forced sale of higher value local authority housing has been delayed by another year, the communities secretary has confirmed.
Sajid Javid said “the government is considering” how to implement the policy legislated for under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
As a result, councils do not need to budget for making payments based on the estimated number of homes they are expected to sell next year, said Mr Javid.
Confirmation came in an email, a copy of which has been seen by LGC, to Islington LBC’s executive member for housing Diarmaid Ward (Lab).
In the email, Mr Javid said: “In terms of next steps, the government is considering how the HVA [higher value vacant local authority housing] legislation may be implemented under the framework set out in the Housing and Planning Act 2016. In the meantime, local authorities will not be expected to make a payment in 2017-18 or in 2018-19.”
Responding, Cllr Ward said: “Forcing councils to sell off much needed council homes makes no sense. Islington would be the worst affected borough in the country by this Tory plan, with estimates suggesting we could lose around 300 homes per year, which is why we have been campaigning against this policy from the start.
“The secretary of state’s announcement that councils will not be forced to sell homes for two years is a big win for our campaign, but we need the government to drop this policy altogether.”
However, the government did commit in the Budget to undertake a “£200mi large‑scale regional pilot of the right-to-buy for housing association tenants in the Midlands”. That is due to get underway next year.