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More Responses to News of the Lifting of the Housing Borrowing Cap

Published on: 5 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 7 Oct, 2018

Further responses have come in in response to the prime minister’s announcement at the Conservative party conference, on Wednesday (October 3, 2018), that the government are to lift the cap on Housing Revenue Accounts, the accounts from which councils can borrow money to build homes.

Cllr Philip Brooker (Con, Merrow), lead councillor for housing and planning development at Guildford borough Council said: “We have been lobbying for some time to be given the freedom to borrow to build more much needed council homes. I am very pleased to hear the government’s announcement that they have listened to us and will be scrapping the cap on borrowing to build social housing.

Cllr Philip Brooker

“We have already taken advantage of earlier limited opportunities to increase our borrowing to build council housing but this announcement gives us the ability to deliver homes in much greater numbers.

“We are encouraging the government to make an early announcement on when and how the change will be implemented, in the meantime we already have a number of projects under construction to provide new homes for our communities.”

The Guildford Labour Party said that it: “… also welcomes the Government’s announcement that it is abandoning the cap on councils’ ability to borrow money for housing.

We are delighted that the Lib Dem’s welcome this news, though note they fail to remind everyone that tightening of these rules occurred in 2012 when they were in coalition with the Conservatives.

“We also note their spokesperson’s demand for “thousands” of new council houses. This would be far more than currently envisaged in the Local Plan and we wonder where the land for these “thousands” might come from. Let us not forget that as few as 14 new houses for social rent were built here in 2016/17.

“But the tragedy is that the benefits of council house building is inevitably undone if they can be sold off later at a discount under Right-to-Buy.

Howard Smith

Howard Smith, Labour’s Parliamentary Spokesperson added: “Three years ago the Conservatives relaxed rules so that right-to-buy covered Housing Association homes. This exacerbated a bottle-neck, forcing more people into inadequate private accommodation particularly into “houses of multiple occupation” [HMOs], with as many as ten separate households in one semi. Good though this announcement is, we will continue to champion social housing and campaign to end ‘Right-to-Buy’ ”.


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Responses to More Responses to News of the Lifting of the Housing Borrowing Cap

  1. Valerie Thompson Reply

    October 6, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Right to Buy was the worst policy the Conservatives ever proposed. What is the point of selling off council housing when there needs to be houses available for lower-paid workers, who can’t afford to buy? It only creates the need to build yet more houses.

    • John Perkins Reply

      October 7, 2018 at 11:12 am

      Right to Buy could not have created a need for more houses. It only changed the ownership of existing stock with the result that maintenance improved. Prior to that council tenants saw little point in improving council-owned property and the dead hand of bureaucracy ensured that the owners did nothing either.

  2. Brian Creese, Guildford Labour Party Reply

    October 9, 2018 at 9:19 am

    There are currently over 2600 families on the council house waiting list and around 300 a year are placed… Those are the figures that matter.

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