More than 6,000 Northampton council homes could be sold, campaigners fear

New Government rules could see as many as 6,000 council houses in Northampton sold off, a campaign group has said.

Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:03 pm
Norman Adams

The rules, which are yet to be laid out in detail, suggest that the extension of Right to Buy for housing association properties will be funded by the sales of high value council houses.

Northampton Defend Council Housing (NDCH) said the latest available figures show there were 6,823 council houses in Northampton worth more than £100,000.

Norman Adams, from NDCH, said: Nobody really knows what high-value means yet, but it does illustrtae that a lot of council properties will have to be sold off as they become empty.

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“It is a bit of a worry given that we have flogged 400 council houses since 2012 and physically built none.”

The government intends to extend the Right to Buy scheme to housing association tenants, who will have an option with a discount.

But in order to compensate housing associations, councils will be forced to sell off ‘high value’ council houses as they become vacant.

If they cannot, they will instead have to pay to the Government an annual amount equivalent to the market value of homes ‘likely to become vacant’ whether or not they can actually sell them.

NDCH not only fear that the stock of quality council houses will diminish, but that those alraedy on the waiting list will find it increasingly difficult to get a property.

The number of people on the list is currently about 3,500, with three-bed homes coming up less than four times a week.

Northampton Partnership Homes, which manages the boroughs council houses, declined to comment.

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