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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

County aims to suspend council home Right to Buy

Denbighshire County Council is to submit an application to the Welsh Government for approval to suspend the right to buy for council homes for a period of five years.

The loss of homes to right to buy has significantly reduced the council’s housing stock by over 4,000 homes.

In 2015/16 the authority lost eight council homes to the right to buy and whilst it intends to increase its housing stock during future years, its claims any similar loss of homes will significantly reduce the additional gain of new homes.

The application will be submitted following a decision by members of Denbighshire County Council meeting in Ruthin today (Tuesday).

Councillor Barbara Smith, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing, said: “The council is making a firm commitment in its Housing Strategy to provide more homes to meet local need and demand and to create a supply of affordable homes, again to meet  demand.

“Significant investment has been allocated in the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) to allow the council to drive regeneration schemes through buying land for new high quality council homes, but this significant investment is at risk if further homes continue to be lost through right to buy.

“There is a demand for council homes in Denbighshire, with ten applicants on our waiting list compared to every vacancy. This is a significantly greater ratio than Swansea and Carmarthenshire who were the first two councils in Wales to suspend the right to buy. Other councils look set to follow suit.

“Our local Registered Social Landlord partners are supporting our application. They have indicated that they require the suspension to also apply to their stock, subject to formal consultation and decision. We also have support from the majority of our tenants, as well as the Denbighshire Tenants and Residents Federation.

“We hope that the Welsh Government will allow the suspension of the right to buy scheme in Denbighshire. There clearly is a case in the county for this to happen."

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