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Lords debate Part 4 of Housing and Planning Bill 18/03/2016

Following 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.

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