Right to buy, housing needs, nottingham council
© Simon Whitehouse

Nottingham City Council has approved plans to buy back more than 250 former council houses

The four-year scheme, which was approved at Nottingham City Council’s executive board meeting on Tuesday 18 June, will involve more than 300 purchases and also include some newly-built homes, as well as houses and flats that have previously been bought through the Right To Buy scheme.

The purchases will be paid for using Right To Buy replacement receipts and Council borrowing, representing a good value way to address housing need and help the authority achieve its target of 1,000 new council or social homes to rent by 2023.

Council tenants have the option to buy their home at a discount depending on how long they have lived there, and when this happens the Council can spend the money from the sales on up to 30% of the cost of a new or replacement affordable home. If the receipts are not spent within three years of the sale, they have to be given to the Government with interest.

Right To Buy sales have increased in recent years and councils across the country find it hard to replace homes as quickly as they are losing them, which is especially hard at a time when the need for affordable homes is increasing.

Portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, councillor Linda Woodings, said:  “Though we have completed 500 new homes in partnership with Nottingham City Homes in the past five years as part of Nottingham’s biggest build programme for a generation, the waiting list and issue of homelessness continue to grow.

“We are always looking for ways to boost the amount of affordable housing in Nottingham and committed to providing quality housing for all. Buying homes this way allows us to provide quality accommodation in a quick and cost-effective way and make sure that money is reinvested locally.”

The Right To Buy rules also offer the Council some help and protection. Where a property has been sold through the scheme, any owner of that home must offer it back to the Council first if they are selling within ten years of it being bought from the authority. The Right To Buy discount can be reduced to zero on a home that is sold within 15 years of it being built or bought by the council.

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