A row of terraced houses in England

Right to buy suspension part of wider council house plans

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has set out his plans to deliver 10,000 new council homes by 2028.

This will be done through a range of measures including through the suspension of the Right to Buy scheme and the creation of a new GM Housing First Unit which will publish a detailed plan for how 10,000 new council homes can be delivered. This report will come before the end of 2024 and will outline how this Mayoral term – Burnham’s third in office – can bring significant numbers of new homes.

The Right to Buy scheme allows people to buy the council homes that they have been living in, however councils currently don’t get to keep enough of the money received to replenish their housing stock. This has led to a significant shortage in council homes, especially those that are accessible, with councils already under financial pressure. By suspending Right to Buy, councils would be able to rebuild their housing stock, ensuring that more people can access safe and affordable homes.

New enforcement powers will also allow councils to increase their use of compulsory purchase orders over non-decent and empty properties, expanding the city-region’s social rented housing stock.

GM housing infographic

Mayor Andy Burnham said:

“Greater Manchester can’t achieve its full potential as long as it remains in the grip of a housing crisis. That is why I am setting a new ambition for the city-region to end it within a decade

“Ten thousand new council homes will help to do that as long as stock can be retained. That’s why we’re calling for the suspension of Right to Buy.

“Everyone deserves to live in a good, safe home and by building new council homes, and suspending the Right to Buy on them, we can give our councils the breathing space they desperately need to replenish their stock, so that all of those waiting in temporary accommodation or on the housing registers have the chance to access good homes.”

Other measures that the mayor is planning on rolling out include a new pilot scheme that will give residents the opportunity to request a property check, as well as the opening of the new GM Good Landlord Charter for applications by the summer. The charter will establish the standards that rental properties should be held to, whilst also supporting landlords to meet them.

Vital support is being offered to the city-region’s rough sleepers, by expanding the ‘A Bed Every Night’ scheme to at least 600 places every night. These will give rough sleepers crucial help as the cost of living crisis continues, whilst being supported by Andy Burnham’s continuing commitment to donating 15% of his monthly salary to the scheme.


Image credit: iStock


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