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ARCH annual report

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The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.

 

Download it here.

Government issues consultation on use of RTB receipts 16/08/2018 Labelled as Legislation

In a written Ministerial statement on 29 March 2018, accepting that the current restrictions around the use of Right to Buy receipts are a barrier to delivery of more homes, the Government said it would consult with the sector on more flexible arrangements. 

The Government issued the promised consultation paper entitled "Use of receipts from Right to Buy sales" on 14 August 2018 alongside the Social Housing Green Paper, setting out proposals and options for reforms to the rules governing the use of RTB receipts, including potentially abandoning the the Government's current national one-for-one replacement commitment.

The current arrangements were introduced in April 2012 as part of Government measures to reinvigorate the Right to Buy. Local authorities were enabled to enter into an agreement with the Government to retain receipts above the baseline assumed in the self-financing settlement ("additional receipts") to fund the provision of replacement stock. The agreement specifies that receipts are to be used within three years and cannot fund more than 30% of the cost of a replacement unit. Receipts not used within three years must be returned to MHCLG together with interest of 4% over base rate.

 

ARCH has long argued for reform of the current arrangements setting out the case for reform in both our submission prior to the 2017 Autumn Statement and in our paper to the Government "Social housing we can all be proud of" submitted prior to the publication of the Government's Social Housing Green Paper.

 

The consultation paper proposes:

 

  • To allow local authorities to hold receipts they currently retain for up to five years; future receipts would continue to have to be used within three years;
  • To increase the cap on the use of receipts from 30% to 50% of build costs for homes for social rent in "high demand" areas;
  • To allow local authorities to "top-up" insufficient Right to Buy receipts with funding from the Affordable Homes Programme of up to 30% of build costs for affordable rent or, in "high demand" areas, 50% of build costs for social rent;
  • To set an upper limit based on to average build costs on the price of dwellings acquired using receipts;
  • To allow authorities to use receipts to provide homes for shared ownership;
  • To allow authorities to gift General Fund land to the HRA for use for new housing provided it has been held in the General Fund for a number of years;
  • To allow a short window of three months during which local authorities could return receipts without incurring interest;
  • To replace the current target of one-for-one replacement of "additional" homes old under the Right to Buy with a wider measure covering net additions to the social housing stock held by both local authorities and housing associations.

 

The consultation paper also invites views on whether there are circumstances under which it would be appropriate to allow local authorities to transfer receipts to ALMOs or Local Housing Companies and on other flexibilities that would help local authorities to use receipts more effectively to build new homes.

 

ARCH Policy Adviser Matthew Warburton has produced an ARCH briefing paper for ARCH members.

 

Views the proposals set out in the consultation paper are invited to be submitted to the Government by 9 October.  

 

The ARCH Executive Board will be considering its response to the consultation paper at its meeting on 10 September.  ARCH member councils are invited to submit any views and comments for inclusion in the ARCH response to Matthew Warburton ( Matthew.warburton@arch-housing.org.uk ).

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