Concerns over right to buy scheme

Councillors have been quizzed on how the right-to-buy scheme, which will offer council tenants discounts of up to �75,000, will affect Norwich's stock of council homes.

The government insists all social homes that are sold 'will be replaced on a one-for-one basis by a new affordable rent property, ensuring there is no reduction in the number of affordable homes'.

The question was posed at a Norwich City Council meeting by a member of the public who asked if the council would be able to replace each home sold with another to maintain the level of social housing in the city.

Councillor Victoria Macdonald, pictured, cabinet member for housing, answered: 'From my position, promoting home ownership by encouraging more people to increase their level of debt to buy council property isn't the top priority for tenants in Norwich. When I speak to them they are more concerned about meeting financial commitments, like paying the rent.'

She said the council was still trying to work through the implications of the right to buy scheme, but felt tenants were more concerned with seeing investment and improvements in existing housing stock.

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Mrs Macdonald said: 'The council is working to ensure the government's policy does not reduce the availablility of affordable housing in the city.'

The existing housing stock would remain a priority.

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