In a recent Parliamentary debate, Government Minister, Lord
Bourne, indicated that the government would shortly be announcing a
pilot in relation to the higher value asset (HVA) levy. However
following clarification with DCLG officials, ARCH can confirm that
the Minister was in fact simply referring to the extended Right to
Buy pilot announced in the Autumn Statement.
In response to a question on council housing in the House of
Lords from Lord Kennedy of Southwark, DCLG Minister Lord Bourne,
said:"…in relation to the higher value assets, the noble Lord will
be aware that we will shortly be announcing a pilot in relation to
that…"(Hansard 13 March column 1631/1632)
Following further enquiries by ARCH, a senior official at DCLG
said that the position regarding HVA sales and the HVA levy
remained unchanged and that the Minister's reference to "a pilot"
referred to the extended Right to Buy pilot for housing association
tenants announced in the Autumn Statement. DCLG also confirmed that
Ministers had made no decisions as yet on the definition of "higher
value" or the payments to be made by local authorities under
Section 69 of the Housing and Planning Act and re-affirmed the
councils would not be expected to pay the HVA Levy in the coming
financial year 2017/2018.
It is worth remembering that under Section 71 of the Housing and
Planning Act, the Secretary of State is required to consult with
local authorities before making a Determination of the amount to be
paid under Section 69 of the Act and "higher value"
housing must be defined in Regulations debated and approved by both
Houses of Parliament (i.e. by Affirmative Resolution).