Council will buy back houses to increase stock in Grantham and Stamford

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The district council is looking to buy back a number of its former council houses.

The executive of South Kesteven District Council approved the new scheme which is aimed at increasing the council’s stock of housing as well as its rental income.

The meeting of the Executive was told this week that buying back houses will also help to use funds gained from the sale of council houses under the right to buy (RTB)scheme. These funds can be used, in part, to buy housing but only within a limited timescale.

The Executive was told that there is a ‘substantial’ need of social housing in Grantham, Stamford and Bourne and the Deepings.

The council estimates that it would be able to buy back about 10 houses per year under the scheme.

The Executive was told that when a property bought under the Right to Buy Scheme is available for sale the council has the first right of refusal if it is within 10 years of the original sale on all properties sold after 2005.

Money received from the sale of council houses has to be spent within strict government timelines or any underspends have to be sent back to the Treasury. The new scheme means best use can be made of the money and ensures that the investment stays in the area.

Coun Linda Wootten, Executive Member for Housing, said: “I think this is a good thing to be doing. I think it’s win win, It’s win win for the person who wants to sell their home back to us, and win win for us because it gives us another home we can allocated to a family in need.

“The Council wants to make properties available for rent where they are needed and our initial focus would be on two and three bedroomed houses.”

In a report to the Executive, Lisa Barker, Business Manager Housing, said: “The council could choose not to operate a proactive buyback scheme, however the opportunity would be lost to increase the supply of affordable housing.”