Government makes £100m available for 'Right to Transfer' scheme

Out-Law News | 16 Jul 2014 | 3:06 pm | 1 min. read

The government has invited council tenants and local authorities to apply for a share of £100 million that has been set aside to fund the transfer of local authority housing stock to registered providers of social housing.

The government launched its 'Right to Transfer' scheme, which allows social housing tenants to demand that local authorities consider disposing of social housing to a registered provider, in November 2013 and deals under the first round of funding have been agreed in Gloucester, Salford and Durham. The latest £100m commitment will be available to provide debt write-off and early redemption cover for transfers proposed from 1 April 2015 to March 2016.

In its guidance (75-page / 901 KB PDF) for the next period of investment, the government said that proposals that "facilitate or enable the regeneration of housing estates and deliver much better social and economic outcomes" will be particularly welcomed and that the upgrade and refurbishment of existing homes is its preferred approach, with demolition to be viewed as a last resort.

In order to receive consent for a transfer, applicants must demonstrate that the proposal offers good value for public expenditure and that it has the support of tenants affected.

"The transfer of housing stock from council to housing association control can unlock millions of pounds to invest in people's homes, considerably improving their quality of life," said outgoing housing minister Kris Hopkins in a statement. "Our pledge is that, where tenants agree, we will write off historic housing debt to enable good value deals to take place, with £100m available next year to do just that."

"I want to see bids from councils and tenants alike, which place at their heart the priority of improving the economic as well as the physical state of housing estates, so they can benefit residents for generations to come," said Hopkins.