earlier scrutiny of Parts 1 and 2 of the Bill, the House of
Lords began discussing Part 4 of the Bill on 8 March. This included
the extension of Right to Buy (RTB) to housing association tenants,
sale of high-value council housing and the RTB levy, introduction
of 'pay to stay' and phasing out of secure lifetime tenancies for
council tenants on 10 and 14 March 2016.
Key points emerging from the discussion so far are:
- The Lords have so far made no amendments to Part 4 which covers
extension of the RTB, sale of vacant high-value council housing,
'pay to stay' and phasing out of lifetime tenancies.
- In relation to sale of high-value housing and 'pay to stay',
Peers were very unhappy about being asked to delegate extensive
powers to the Secretary of State without clear information on the
face of the Bill about how these powers are likely to be
used. Ministers promised to supply a timetable for secondary
legislation and more detail on its likely content before the Bill
reaches Report stage.
- Ministers announced their intention to establish a working
party with local government representatives to consider the lessons
from RTB for council tenants and the arrangements for voluntary
agreements with councils to replace high-value homes sold off.
- The Minister also gave a hint in regard to calculation of the
RTB levy and sale of high-value council housing that the high-value
thresholds may be calculated at a local authority level rather than
at a regional level as originally proposed when the policy was
announced in the Conservative Party Election Manifesto.
Matthew Warburton, ARCH Policy Adviser, has produced a
briefing on the debate in the Lords on Part 4 of the Act
relating to the above.