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28/04/2016

Housing and Planning Bill: Lords pass third reading amid more amendments

Words: Laura Edgar

The House of Lords has voted in favour of an increase to the pay-to-stay threshold in line with inflation and an amendment regarding the sale of social homes.

Following this third reading debate, the bill will return to the House of Commons.

Lord Beecham tabled an amendment to the bill that would see the threshold for “high income” social housing tenants increased to ensure that any increase in the consumer price index is reflected.

The Lords voted in favour of the amendment by 235 votes to 201. Lord Kerslake tabled an amendment during the reading, one he said he didn’t expect to be putting forward as he understood an agreement had been reached on the form of words for it. However, part of the amendment was missing.

The first part of the amendment related to one-for-one provision of council homes, ensuring that those that are sold would be replaced.

Speaking during the reading, he said the second part of his amendment “provided that where a local authority so wished and could demonstrate need, it would be able to retain from the council house sale receipts the funding necessary to re-provide a house of a similar type to the one it had sold”.

As this was missing, he felt he “had no option” but to resubmit his original amendment.

The amendment would see the secretary of state enter into an agreement with the local authority so that it can retain part of the payment required to fund the new dwellings, to be let on social housing terms similar to the sold dwelling.

The Lords voted 275 to 197 in favour of the amendment.

The government has in total been defeated on 13 amendments in the bill, including starter homes proposals, community right of appeal and sustainable drainage systems.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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