The Right to Buy scheme means the City of Lincoln Council is losing 70 council houses per year in Lincoln.
Since the scheme started in 1980, around 1.5 million homes in the UK have been sold through Right to Buy. Tenants are buying their houses from the council at a discounted price of up to £80,900.
Consequently, the council is in the process of building 172 new council homes, the largest increase in Lincoln in 40 years. The new builds should be complete by March this year, with 138 having been completed since last August.
This is just the start of the development planned for the City of Lincoln Council Vision 2020 scheme. Next year there will be even more development to council housing. The target for this scheme is to have 400 new homes by 2020. Next year also marks the centenary of the first council housing built in Lincoln. Permission has been granted for building on Queen Elizabeth Road in Ermine West.
This comes off the back of a government attempt to make the housing market work. Last year the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap for council house building was lifted. It was estimated lifting this cap would allow for 10,000 additional homes to be built a year across the UK.
Chris Morton, resident involvement manager at the city council, said: “100 years of council housing allows us to look forward. We have got an opportunity to take a step back and take a look at what our tenants want from us.”
Communicating with residents and getting them involved is becoming a priority for the housing department. “We aim to start creating communities again. We want to build spaces where people are proud to live.”
There are currently 978 live applications for council housing in Lincoln. Due to modifications to the database, this number is significantly lower than recent statistics. Councillor Edmund Strengiel said: “Every month we approve new developments in Lincoln. All of these are being built so therefore that 900 should start coming down.”