Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says the sale of just one high-value council house could help fund more affordable house building, increase supply and reduce social housing waiting lists.
Social housing waiting lists have halved since 2010, but new rules could bring this down even further from next April. The law will require local authorities to publish the most recent valuation of their social housing stock once a year, to ensure it is being put to best use.
The information will be published by postcode, listing how much the properties are worth, how many are occupied and how many are standing empty.
This will “give people the information they need to ask questions of how their council is managing stock”, says Pickles, with the sale of more expensive properties potentially providing the funds for councils to build more homes and reduce waiting times.
For example, Southwark council were able to sell off one of their council homes for a staggering £3 million, helping to fund the building of 20 new properties across the borough.
Mr Pickles argued that other councils across the country could follow suit: “Councils across the country are sitting on millions of pounds which could be put to far better use and get them building elsewhere in the area. This would allow more families to come off social housing waiting lists and get into homes.
“Instead of holding that money as equity in expensive empty properties, the councils should sell up those vacant buildings and reinvest the money to get the country building.”
Source: The Movechannel