Skip to main content

Council Housing: Sales

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of the sale price of council houses in (a) Swindon and (b) England was spent on social housing in each of the last five years. (131085)

On disposal of a council house, for instance through the right to buy, 75 per cent. of the capital receipt is recycled for investment and the local authority is free to use the remaining 25 per cent. for any capital purpose it sees fit.

Capital investment in social housing for the last five years has been greater than the value of recycled capital receipts generated by the sale of council housing, in Swindon and nationally. Since 1997 the Government have consistently invested more in housing than they have received in receipts.

Until 2004-05 the mechanism for recycling of housing capital receipts for with-debt authorities (such as Swindon) was for the authority to set-aside 75 per cent. of the capital receipt for repayment of debt. Less debt meant less debt for Government to subsidise, allowing that saved resource to be directed to support new investment where the need was greatest. On 1 April 2004 the introduction of the 'Prudential regime' abolished set-aside and pooling became the mechanism for the recycling of housing receipts for investment.