Affordable Housing Debate

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Department: Cabinet Office
Wednesday 3rd July 2019

(4 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Young of Cookham Portrait Lord Young of Cookham
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Yes, indeed. We announced that we would abolish the cap on the housing revenue account, to enable local authorities to build up to £4 billion- worth of new homes and introduce a new generation of council housing.

Lord Dykes Portrait Lord Dykes (CB)
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Since the Minister has conceded the need for government intervention against excessive free market distortion effects, particularly from overseas buyers, will the Government now take more action to ensure that empty properties are dealt with energetically and not left unoccupied, as are so many owned by overseas buyers, who pay just over £1,000 or £2,000 on council tax?

Lord Young of Cookham Portrait Lord Young of Cookham
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Again, it is sad that any property is left empty for a substantial length of time, given the number of people in housing need. As the noble Lord will know, a premium rate of council tax is paid on properties left empty for more than a certain time. In certain parts of the country, additional council tax is levied on owners of second homes. I will, however, reflect on his question to see whether there is any further action we can take to make sure that houses are occupied by people who need them.