The Government is committed to reducing bureaucracy generally and burdens on local government specifically. Its intention is that intervention in local housing affairs by central Government be kept to a minimum and be enacted where it is necessary to protect public finances or the rights of individuals. The Government is also committed to reform radically the way council housing is financed. Through a one-off self-financing settlement planned for April 2012, local authorities will get the right to retain all the rental income generated from their stock. The settlement will give local authorities far greater control of their assets, allowing them to plan their businesses over much longer periods. This policy was set out in Implementing Self-Financing (July 2011).
This consultation paper seeks views on two related matters: the disposal of council housing assets and use of the receipt arising from such disposals. First, it seeks views on the proposed reforms to the General Consents, under which local authorities have freedom to dispose of council housing assets without the specific consent of the Secretary of State. Second, it seeks views on the proposed amendments to the regulations governing the use of receipts arising from such disposals.
The consultation is aimed primarily at English local housing authorities, but will also be of interest to English local authority tenants and those wishing to access home ownership. The consultation period is from 25 August to 17 November 2011.