Flintshire votes to buy back ex-council homes sold off under Right to Buy
Housing sold off under Right to Buy (RTB) could be bought back by a Welsh council under new plans.
A report submitted to Flintshire County Council’s cabinet said there are opportunities for the council to increase affordable housing “through outright purchase of properties or RTB buyback where it is strategically beneficial”.
The council has already committed to building 500 new houses, including 200 council properties and 300 affordable homes, over the next five years. It has also applied to the Welsh Government to suspend Right to Buy for five years in order to prevent the loss of affordable housing stock. The report says the application is set to be approved “imminently”.
Under the latest proposals, the council would establish a budget for strategic acquisitions and buyback of former council homes in the 2017-18 budget process, which is subject to final approval in February.
Since January 2005, the council has had first refusal on properties sold under Right to Buy if they are put up for sale within 10 years. Fifty-five properties have been sold in Flintshire since April 2010 at an average price of £80,080.
In addition to buying back RTB properties, the council would consider purchasing other properties if they are a blight on neighbourhoods where the council has an interest or investment, the owner is struggling with mortgage or maintenance costs, the property would fill an unmet demand, or it would free up land or access a site suitable for new affordable housing.