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Council has no plans to sell off housing stock

18 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Council houses in Welshpool

Elgan Hearn Local Democracy Reporter

A council’s housing stock is not going to be sold off, a senior councillor has stressed.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Economy, Residents and Communities Scrutiny committee on Monday March 18, councillors were given an update on how the council intends to maintain its portfolio of housing and garage stock in the county for the coming years.

The report included a detailed breakdown of the age of the council’s housing stock that shows that 3,473 of the 5,512 council houses were built in the 1960s and 1970s.

The report added that half of them are “more than 60 years old.”

“Absolutely no plans”

Conservative Cllr Adrian Jones said: “A lot of houses are (19) 60s and (19) 70s, if you’re in business you might think there is a case to put forward to sell all of those to a housing association or tenants.

“Use the money to build brand spanking new energy efficient homes.

“It sounds simple, you’d have more houses in Powys, not in our hands possibly but the point is to have more.”

He asked whether the idea could be considered.

Deputy council leader and housing portfolio holder Labour’s Cllr Matthew Dorrance said: “We’ve had this question put to us a number of times during this council term.

“We don’t have any plans at all to sell our social housing stock – it’s important to give our tenants the assurance that there are absolutely no plans under this administration to sell our council homes.

“We firmly believe that the council is the best placed provide of social housing working with our partner landlords through the strategic housing partnership and we will continue to do that.”

Building programme

Cllr Dorrance added that the council now has an “extensive building programme” and are committed to building new homes.

Cllr Dorrance said: “We’re also buying new homes into our housing stock that are in the right place to meet our local housing needs.

“A combination of all those strategies will help us deliver the outcomes we want of local affordable homes in our communities to help us tackle poverty in the county.”

The committee noted the contents of the report.

At a meeting of the council’s Liberal Democrat/Labour cabinet tomorrow, (Tuesday – March 19) Cllr Dorrance will present an annual update on the Housing Revenue Account’s rolling 30 year business plan.

This plan will see more than £170million invested as part of a five-year programme that will see new council homes built and improvements made to existing council homes.

By 2029 the council expects to have built an extra 330 homes.

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