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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Media backing for buying private homes and letting them via councils

A national newspaper has backed a scheme by a council to purchase private properties and them let them out to lower paid local workers who may otherwise not be able to afford to rent.

Scotland’s Daily Record has published an editorial praising an initiative by the Highlands council.

The newspaper says: “Holiday lets are squeezing Scots out of the market. 

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“That the Highlands are facing a housing crisis is not in doubt. Holiday lets and second-home purchases are squeezing locals out of the market. Places such as Skye do not even have enough room for workers to service the tourism industry. Young people, even on an above-average wages, are locked out of entry from the rural property market.

“The problem cannot be solved overnight but Highland Council’s approach of offering to buy up private properties at a sensible price and renting them out as council housing stock is innovative and appeals to the community spirit. 

“Many people who come to inherit a family home cannot use it themselves but do not want to see the community that nurtured them turned inside out by the online rental revolution.

“Selling directly to the council makes sure that the rental goes to a key worker or a local resident who will have the long-term interest of their area in mind. Even one more council house in a village can make a massive difference in keeping a school open or an essential service running.”

The editorial continues: “Other councils across Scotland could do well to follow the example of Highland Council. 

“But the real solution is not just appealing to community spirit or making a symbolic gesture. More money has to go into building and keeping housing stock in local authority or housing association control.

“The long-term solution is to acquire and release more land for housing and to fund local residents to get on the property or rental ladder.”

You can see the editorial here.

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  • George Dawes

    Good grief , no way Jose

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    My local council are welcome to buy all my Buy to lets in N Wales at market price now that the draconian new contracts to replace tenancy agreements are being forced upon us in December.

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    If they're buying them at market price or very close I can't see a problem for the seller. It's the sellers choice who to sell to.
    It's if they plan to rent them out at a fraction of market rent there's a problem for all the Council Tax payers who would be subsidizing the scheme.
    An affordable market rent is one thing, a ludicrously cheap, subsidized Council rent would be grossly unfair to all the tax payers who would be funding it.

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    And would the tenants then have a right to buy at a discount, and then ultimately sell on the open market.

     
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    There are many wealthy people living in council houses enjoying paying a low subsidized rent , union leaders and the leader of Norwich council, the sensible way would be to fix all social housing rents at a FULL market rent, then offer a scale of discounts for the lower paid

     
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    If Councils did as Andrew suggests they could buy or build far more houses and use any surplus profits to go towards their pension liabilities. That would then potentially lead to lower Council Tax bills for everyone.
    Anyone on low pay gets a UC top up towards their rent. Why should anyone on high pay be entitled to subsidized rent?

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    Councils are mainly funded by taxpayers, these stupid policies will involve higher taxes. In Wales their is a massive dependency culture, people who contribute nothing to society apart from being a burden.

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    So sell off all the good quality social housing…. Build no further properties to replace them, and then ask private landlords to rent our housing to those who are more likely to cause issues 😂😂 They have been smoking something other than tobacco.

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    Council tax is a joke system Poll Tax had merits. I see 6 / 8 people living in a property with same C/tax as 2 retirement people that paid tax all their lives, how is that fair so huge numbers pay nothing, now I hear people suggesting to increase it on the already over taxed payers.

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    Looks like a step towards compulsory purchase to me at a "sensible" price. I wonder what sensible means.

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    There's a sensible price when I buy, but in order to sell now that would have to be a very different sensible price, I'm no charity

     
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    Quite right, Andrew.

     
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