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Buy back of Right to Buy properties

Published: 08/12/2016

A report for a new policy setting out the council’s approach to buying back ex-council properties will be considered by Flintshire’s Community & Enterprise Scrutiny and Overview Committee when it next meets on Thursday, 15 December. To date, the council has chosen not to take up the option of purchasing any previously owned properties. However, the council has applied to Welsh Government to suspend the Right to Buy and it is planning to build approximately 200 new council homes over the next five years. Buying back former council properties fits with this strategy and it could help to regenerate estates and meet local need. Councillor Aaron Shotton, Leader of the Council, said: “It is well known that there is a shortage of affordable housing across the UK. Flintshire County Council’s strategy to build new council homes, the first in a generation, fits well with our proposal to suspend the Right to Buy scheme. A further step to provide more affordable housing would be to bring houses which were previously council owned back into our housing stock. This will provide more affordable housing for the residents of Flintshire and provide income to the Council by way of rent. This situation would only arise if the current owner decided to sell. If the property has been sold since 18 January 2005, the owner is required to offer to sell it to the council for up to 10 years from the date of purchase and can only sell on the open market should the council not wish to purchase. The council is also free to purchase any property for sale on the open market, should it meet the council’s policy. Each property would be considered on a case by case basis, a major factor of which would be the identification of available funds in the business plan.