New right to buy shock for council tenants
announced plans to make tenants wait for five years before
putting in an application to buy
This closely follows the Government's decision to slash the
amount of cash help available to purchasers from the previous
maximum of £38,000 to just £16,000,
Council say this has had the effect of putting home ownership
in the borough beyond the reach of the vast majority of Putney's
deputy prime minister John Prescott is rushing through new
measures that will extend the qualification period from two
years to five. For
the first time there will also be new powers to claw back
from council tenants any increases in the value of their property
after they have purchased.
if a tenant sells within three years of purchasing a proportion
of the discount has to be repaid. Now Mr Prescott intends
to extend the clawback period to five years and base the amount
repaid on the resale value of the property. This
means that a tenant who sold after four years would have to
pay back 20 per cent of any increase in value - rising to
80 per cent if they sold after one year.
leader Edward Lister said the government was conducting a
vendetta against council tenants:
"What have ministers got against council tenants? It's
as if this is the only group of people who can't be allowed
to share in the full benefits of home ownership that others
take for granted.
the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has had to spell out recently
the social benefits to a community when tenants become home-owners.
experience over 25 years in Wandsworth has been that the prospect
of owning one's own home is one that appeals to all sections
of society including the young and those from ethnic minority
to Buy was probably the most 'inclusive' social policy ever
devised. It helped people from all backgrounds to acquire
a real stake in their communities. Its effective abandonment
will come to be seen as a woefully shortsighted and regressive
act of social
have been given until June 9 to respond to the proposed changes
which will be included in the Housing Bill.
to buy application forms are available for personal visitors
from the home ownership unit reception in the town hall -
or over the telephone on 020 8871 6016.
can also be downloaded from www.wandsworth.gov.uk/homeownership
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