Sell off valuable council houses.

  hssutton 08:57 20 Aug 2012

What are your thoughts on the suggestion by Grant Shapps(housing minister) That councils should sell their most valuable houses and use the money to build a much larger number of cheaper council homes.

Council housing

Makes a great deal of sense to me assuming of course the money raised would be used to build new council houses. At the very least it would stop the Daily Mail continually printing stories of immigrants living in multi million pound houses

  Mr Mistoffelees 09:11 20 Aug 2012

As long as the houses are only sold when they naturally become vacant, then I am in favour too.

  oresome 09:25 20 Aug 2012

A difficult topic to give an opinion on without a great deal of consideration as to the effect on people.

House prices are what they are due partly to the supply and demand situation. The supply is limited by the available land to build and I suspect the new council housing when built will be much further away from where available jobs are.

A community relies on thousands of people doing low paid work for every high flying banker or lawyer there is and they need affordable housing close to their place of work.

How we achieve this without subsidised housing in what would otherwise be expensive areas, I don't have the answer to.

  interzone55 10:09 20 Aug 2012

The Tories did this in the 80's as well - let people buy their council house, then use the money to build more housing.

The first part was a great success, the second part never happened.

I can't see there being any difference if they carried out the same process a second time.

They also need to consider this scenario.

Leafy suburban street, lots of now valuable properties housing a mix of social tenants. One becomes vacant, and is put up for sale at the current market value. Can anyone see it being sold if the rest of the street still contains the usual mix of council tenants?

The only way the plan will work is if the full street is vacated, and how will they do that?

  KRONOS the First 10:20 20 Aug 2012

I disagree with the statement that the Tories policy of the eighties was a great success as what happened was that all the council owned property in the 'better areas' were sold off but the less well off areas became ghettos almost. And of course the money earned from council house sales did not go towards building more housing to replace the stock lost.

Not forgetting the massive discounts offered to tenants who wanted to buy their house's. I bought mine, a two bedroom flat for little more than ten grand twenty years or so, lets just say it was worth probably 7 times that at the time and a little more now.So the council were not exactly making a lot of money to plough back into social housing and if my memory serves they either did not have to spend it building more houses, so didn't or something else happened to the money, but I cannot remember what.

  interzone55 11:06 20 Aug 2012


I said the first part was a great success, as in they sold lots of council houses. That was the only successful part of the programme

  Aitchbee 20:52 20 Aug 2012

My 'only' connection to house prices and rental accommodation rates is with a BBC TV programme called 'Homes Under The Hammer'...council houses are always readily snapped up, at auction.

  daz60 22:54 20 Aug 2012

My parents were able to purchase their home only because of this Tory rule,i do not begrudge them that opportunity,they would never have been able to do so otherwise.

The problem is they at least lived and died there (50 yrs+),now what is the length of tenancy allowed before the right to buy.??

It is speculation,especially in major cities,that fuels this interest leaving those who cannot afford or are unable through circumstance to afford at the mercy of exorbitant rents for sub standard properties or left to ponder the seemingly arbitrary nature of allocation of remaining council properties.

Also,like i said before,they would rather spend hundreds of millions on armaments and "illegal" wars than putting roofs above our heads.

  bremner 23:04 20 Aug 2012

The idea that selling an expensive home to buy and make available perhaps 2or 3 homes is sensible.

A man said on Jeremy Vine show at lunchtime summed up the situation from his perspective, he had worked hard all his life to buy his home and yet just around the corner were a family on benefit living in a home worth three times the price of his. Hardly encouraging them to work.

  Condom 23:10 20 Aug 2012


But surely the difference is that this man at the end of the day had a house that he owned and could pass on or sell whilst the renter remains with nothing and the home passes on to someone else to rent.

Would it have made any difference if the house round the corner was rented privately to the benefit claimants and belonged to a landlord rather than a council.

Personally I think this is going to go nowhere.

  Forum Editor 23:31 20 Aug 2012


"Personally I think this is going to go nowhere."

I agree - it's an ill-conceived plan. For a start, where is all the land going to come from for all these new council properties? It certainly doesn't exist in London,and it never will.

Then there's the question of ghetto creation, which is precisely what would happen. Big cities would become increasingly divided communities as poorer people were moved into areas of council housing, leaving wealthier people to congregate in areas of privately owned, more expensive housing.

Part of the atmosphere of a city comes from the way that private owners and council tenants can find themselves living in the same areas - sometimes in the same street.

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