Council home sell-off would kick-start house building

Published:  21 August, 2012

LONDON: A think tank has argued for expensive council houses to be sold when vacant and the money reinvested in building cheaper homes.

The Policy Exchange’s comments have been welcomed by many in the building industry who are in desperate need of seeing rejuvenation in their sector.

Gabrielle Omar, director of architect firm Lolli & Square star of the most recent series of the TV-reality show The Apprentice, said: “The building industry has been witnessing a lot of setbacks of late – with stalled projects, fluctuating budgets and even construction firms going into administration all causing disruption. If they are incentivised to build properties that will be in demand, it will be great for the sector. It would be a great strategy for local councils as it will allow them to unlock equity and provide homes for people in need.

“What concerns me is that will these ‘cut price’ homes could set a precedent of new generations of matchbox homes built cheaply and in constant need of repair. It would be important for each new home to be build and designed well in order for the local councils to protect their investments.

“Another worry is that we would be creating new ghettos, reversing some of the work that has been done to integrate communities. The people who live in homes are almost as important as the homes themselves and if that diversity in communities is no longer there, society will suffer.”

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