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Selling away most expensive social housing would generate enough funds for more affordable social homes says a think tank

Date: (20 August 2012)    |    

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Expensive social housing should be sold to fund house-building a report has urged.

The report by Policy Exchange has said that selling highest value properties could generate £4.5bn to build up to 170,000 social homes a year.

The influential think-tank, set up by the Conservative MP Nick Boles, a key ally of David Cameron, estimates the move could reduce the housing waiting list by 600,000 in five years.
Its report, Ending Expensive Social Tenancies, says properties worth more than the average house price for an area account for one in five of the social housing stock.

The total value of 816,000 homes accounted to a total of £159bn, with £71.9bn of that in London. About 3.5% of the buildings become vacant each year and, after debts were paid off, would raise £4.5bn.
The report suggested that the money should be set aside to build additional homes, and recommended introducing spending guidelines to ensure stock-quality standards were driven higher.
Alex Morton, the report's author, said that expensive social housing was costly, unpopular and unfair the reason why it was almost rejected by everybody.
Social housing tenants deserved a roof over their heads, but not one better than most people can afford, particularly as expensive social housing meant less social housing and so longer waiting lists for most people in need.