ARCH CEO, John Bibby, met with officials at the Local Government
Association (LGA) and the Council with ALMOs Group
(CWAG) earlier this week. The purpose of the meeting was to
discuss the implications of the government's proposals for
extension of the Right to Buy to housing association tenants and
the compulsory sale of high value council housing.
The Government's detailed timetable for introduction of the new
Housing Bill remains unclear but the Bill is expected to be
published "in the Autumn" - however as we know this could cover any
period between the beginning of September and end of December!
New Secretary of State Greg Clark has indicated that he wants
his Department to have a collaborative dialogue with the sector on
implementation of the new legislation but, as the extension of
Right to Buy is a key plank of the Conservative Party's manifesto,
the Government intend to press ahead with the extension of the
Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants.
ARCH has agreed to continue to liaise with the LGA as details of
the Government's proposals emerge.
CWAG have similar concerns to those expressed by ARCH regarding
the implications of the proposal for compulsory sale of high value
council housing and ARCH is co-ordinating a joint tri-partite
meeting in July with CWAG and the National Federation of ALMOs to
see if we can agree a joint strategy in response to proposals for
compulsory sale of vacant council housing.
It is clear that there is little real understanding in
Government of the extent or numbers of "high value" council
properties that may become vacant each year in each region, how
many homes would be sold or how much this would raise in capital
receipts to fund discounts to housing association tenants and one
for one replacement of social rented stock.
It is therefore vital that ARCH members complete the ARCH survey
questionnaire to enable ARCH to draw up an appropriate, evidence
based response to these proposals. ARCH authorities who have not
yet responded to the
ARCH Survey Questionnaire are encouraged to do so as soon as