Thursday, June 25, 2009


Not often we here anything good about Purbeck Housing Trust; but house bought under ´right to buy´ can only be sold to (sort of) locals.

Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 8:17 AM


Anonymous said...

It would be very interesting to have a professional view on the effect on the house's value of this restriction.

If the difference is substantial the effect is to make it more or less impossible for the owners to move anywhere except to a house similarly devalued. A sort of modern version of medieval serfdom when you were tied to the land. I don't rate their chances of getting it altered given the hysteria about second home ownership in aonbs etc.

Anonymous said...

affordable housing should always be rented. it should be provided by the private sector by giving a massive tax break in order to do so

Anonymous said...

The majority of housing around here needs to be affordable whether this is an affordable rent or an affordable mortgage. If the houses around here do not reflect the average income of people living here, then we will not get younger people moving or living here at all. The people that live and work here cannot afford the buy to let rents or the inflated house prices. Something needs to be done. There are plenty of houses sitting empty either used infrequently as second homes or on the market at a price too high for locals to buy. ('Locals' as in people who want to live and work locally.)
It hardly seems fair that second home owners get a 10% reduction in council tax whilst
local people are working hard to maintain all the services,pubs, restaurants, clubs so that these facilities are maintained at a high standard for these visitors to enjoy. I'm sure they do their best to support the local economy 'whilst they are here' but they do not do this on daily basis and do not fill up the empty seats in our schools, or support the pubs and shops in the winter. If all locals 'abandoned ship' there would be nobody left to maintain the Isle of Purbeck. So for the privilage of having a second home it should not be unfair to ask these people to pay 300-400% council tax as a way of helping to sustain our communities. These extra funds could be used to build some affordable homes, and to possibly subsidise some of our amenities.

This increase in Council Tax has been suggested and put forward to the Sustainable Communities Act, but this was the response from the panel:

Proposal no: 09/005
Proposer: Weymouth & Portland Transition Towns

Proposal summary:Additional tax on second homes. Councils should be permitted to levy additional council tax on 2nd homes, up to say 300% of normal tax, rather than being restricted to a 90% maximum as at present. This should be a power that councils could use if they thought fit. We understand this would require primary legislation. We ask that the Secretary of State bring this forward. The Secretary of State would first have to agree the principle. She would then need to consult with, and agree with, interested councils via the LGA on the following:
a. the definition of 2nd homes for this purpose.
b. how individual 2nd homes will be identified.
c. any exceptions such as houses that have been inherited and cannot reasonably be sold in current market conditions. If the legislation does not cover the above aspects it would encourage expensive litigation. We believe that any tax collecting local authority should have power to set the level of additional tax. We do not believe the government should have power to claw back the additional proceeds by reducing the revenue support grant.
Community Plan & LAA Links:No direct links
Comments: No consultation outside of Weymouth and Portland Transition Town.Could adversley affect all property prices.
Too many unkowns, benefits based on some unproven statements
No evidence to demonstrate that this will have impact on affordability of housing.
Not workable – unlikely to receive political support
Central government is not likely to remove restrictions on local authority council tax powers.

This is what local communities are up against,it seems that this proposal has been dismissed before it even reaches the higher echelons!

Anonymous said...

Affordable is a problem that has to be addressed.

The flats at Newton Knap (2 bed) start at £157,000.

How many locals have an income of £40,000+? I´d guess most with that sort of income will already own.

A year or two ago the modal household income in Swanage was between 12 and £15,000. I guess that they´ll be mainly pensioners and the young.

That´s the problem.

Taxing 2HO - many who are MP´s - is it likely? And I don´t think it would raise enough to make any major change anyway.

It´s a conundrum.

Anonymous said...

It is more than a little tiresome the way any discussion of housing is hijacked by those who reduce the whole thing to a simple question of demonising second home owners. The facts are rather different. The vast majority of those whose income is not enough to buy a home live in places where there are no second homes.

Anonymous said...

Is the real question about the price of property/level of rent or is it about wages? If we accept that everyone should be decently housed does that not imply that our minimum wage should be set at a level that is related to property prices? It seems strange to subsidise either individuals and families through the tax credit and housing benefit system or landlords through tax breaks when the root of the problem is simply thst people are not being paid enough. At the moment we have something strangley like the Speenhamland system of a couple of centuries ago which subsidised agricultural wages and simply resulted in lower and lower wages and higher and higher rates. We are not learning from history, indeed we are repeating it.

Anonymous said...

¨Is the real question about the price of property/level of rent or is it about wages¨?

Neither, or both, in the definition of affordable is the phrase something like; ´.... an affordable level to locals´, so if locals buy them then they´re affordable. Unless of course you look a little deeper and ask; ´of the locals who wanted to buy, how many could afford to´?

¨We are not learning from history, indeed we are repeating it¨.

As we idiots always have!

The only time, that I´m aware of, when the housing situation was OK was the period post WW2, until ´right to buy and dont´t replace´ came in.

But then we´re the common people, we always bail out the uncommon; whether it´s oh look there´s a war, let´s conscript people who can die heroically for us, or look, times are good, most people are working and paying tax that we can misspend, or look, we´ve really really cocked this up, but don´t worry we´ll save you and you can pay us back later.

Personally, I prefer the middle version.

I´ve already provided PDC with 3 or 4 answers to the affordable question, they pretty much chose to ignore them, so I´m going to see them again next week.

Yours, even more cynical than usual


Anonymous said...

"an affordable level to locals" is a strange idea. If you do the sort of jobs that the vast majority of us have you are paid much the same everywhere. Housing outside London costs a similar amount in at least the southern half of the country so we are not looking at a local issue in the sense that the situation is different an hour or two's drive away.

Anonymous said...

Um, yeah, loads of people unable to rent or buy at an affordable rate.

That aint right.

it needs to be addressed, here, there and everywhere.

Personally I´ll concentrate on here, then if there´s any success, we can ´share best practice´.

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree. This is Swanage view so of course we are going to focus on this locality. As we well know it is similar in other places. But we live here.

8.46 'The vast majority of those whose income is not enough to buy a home live in places where there are no second homes.'
So what do you suggest that we all move to North Wales, where there employment is worse than here. The problem would be just moved elsewhere. I wouldn't have thought many local people earn enough to buy around here, so its mass exodus from Purbeck, and no more young families able to move to Purbeck, and the whole of Purbeck becomes a playground for the rich. If you think that is a sensible idea, I'm not sure that you will get much support.

Anonymous said...

11.02, I don't see how what I said can be construed as suggesting a mass exodus from Purbeck. The point I was making is that if you have a low income there is pretty much nowhere you can afford to buy property. In other words getting on your bike is futile. This is a national problem and it requires a national answer. Part of that has to be local action to increase the housing supply of course.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say North Wales has a high proportion of second homes so its not a good example.

Anonymous said...

Round and Round and Round we go

Loads of 'local action' has/is being done. Local and National policies are just not strong enough to be of much support at the moment. Continue to pester PDC planning and policy development.
Also send your proposals for 'The Sustainable Communities Act' for the next round.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain what is meant by the term "sustainable community." Is it simply one which uses whatever low-carbon nostrums are fashionable. Where can I find a definition?

Anonymous said...

I am trying to answer my own question. The governemnts definition is:

"Sustainable communities are places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment, and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and inclusive, well planned, built and run, and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all."

Not very helpful. I tried to think of the least sustainable place I could and came up with Las Vegas but strangely enough it comes close to the definition. People want to live there, and so long as the US has crazy gambling laws and retirees will continue to do so. There is nothing stopping it meeting the needs of its citizens and has a high quality of life. How well built and run it is I don't know but thats up to the inhabitants when they elect the council. That leave sensitive to the environment, but what the hell, it does well on the other things.

As I said, not very helpfull.

One thought though. Presumably we should never build places which are dependent on industries that will not last for ever, if we have to restrict ourselves to places that that will have work into the indefinite future. That does not leave much, apart from the oldest profession. Bigger and better sustainable nocking shops anyone?

Anonymous said...

Just back from PDC.

Their (our) Land Availability plan is only a Mark1 version and only contains sites nominated by developers.

Mark2 version to contain more options.

Oooh, I can hardly wait!