Council finds money to help offset the loss of housing through ‘right to buy’ system

Spending plans which involve putting £1.5m aside for new council housing in Barnsley over the next few years will go before senior councillors for a decision.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 10 April, 2019, 20:53
Selling fast: Barnsley Council loses up to 250 houses a year through the right to buy scheme

The council’s ruling Cabinet is being asked to earmark the cash to pay for around 20 new homes, which will be provided by developers under a legal agreement called Section 106, where homes are sold at cost price to the authority as part of the planning permission agreement.

Since the rules were introduced in 2014, 82 houses have been acquired that way, helping to boost the council’s housing stock.

That has been diminishing because of the ‘right to buy’ scheme, which sees the authority lose between 150 and 250 houses each year, despite having around 7,000 on the waiting list for a council home.

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Income from houses sold by councils will go to the Government unless it is re-invested in homes, but then it also has to be supported by two thirds of the sum on top, from other sources.

Builders’ contributions under the Section 106 agreement, which has seen homes bought at an average of £67,000 each provides that.

Those prices are around half market values and are cheaper than the council could build its own new homes for.