Council’s home buy back scheme scaled up with £10 million investment

By Bill Heaney

Allowing tenants to buy their council house was one of Tory PM Margaret Thatcher’s flagship policies.

Now, however, Labour-controlled West Dunbartonshire Council, are thumbing their noses at the woman infamously dubbed The Milk Snatcher and giving the current home owners the opportunity to sell them back to the local authority.

This will happen as part of the Council’s home buyback scheme, which will be scaled up as part of a £10 million investment.

The programme will aim to acquire a minimum of 60 former council houses or homes of a specific type and size every year over the next five years.

In order to meet the needs of local people, the programme will primarily focus on bringing larger family homes into the housing stock.

The Council’s current buy back policy will also be refreshed to ensure opportunities to increase the number of properties available is maximised.

This Labour initiative comes after an additional £50 million investment in Housing was approved by elected members at a Council meeting in March, with £10 million of that set aside to enhance the Buy Back scheme.

Bellsmyre looking towards Castlehill, Brucehill and Westcliff. Picture by Bill Heaney

Councillor Gurpreet Singh Johal, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “We have listened to tenants’ views on the availability of properties in our housing stock.

“We want to do all we can to provide new housing that is the right type and size for the people in our communities and this investment, and the scaling up the Buy Back scheme, will take this even further.

“Sometimes our existing housing stock does not have the size of house our tenants require, for example, large family homes, and this investment will mean we can focus on ensuring we have more of these homes available.”

Councillor Hazel Sorrell, Vice Convener of Housing and Communities, added: “We know from feedback from tenants that demand for large family homes is very high.

“The existing Buy Back scheme has been a success, with 115 homes acquired since it was introduced in 2015, and refreshing the policy will support us to make that number even higher to ensure we have the stock our communities require.”

Top picture: Councillor Gurpreet Singh Johal, Convener of Housing and Communities for West Dunbartonshire Council.

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