New figures reveal number of people in Stevenage buying own council houses up from 9 to 51 in a year
Launched in April last year, the new Right to Buy offers council tenants discounts of up to £75,000 to help them buy their home. Stevenage Borough Council has a legal duty to inform tenants about the increased discounts, but there is concern locally that the council does not want to make tenants aware of the new opportunities.
Stephen McPartland MP has now challenged Stevenage Borough council to do more and proactively help hardworking people realise their dream of home ownership.
Stephen said,"Housing is a big issue in Stevenage, especially as Stevenage Borough Council is raising rents faster than anyone else in Hertfordshire and providing a poor service. Many tenants are just fed up with a Council that does not care about them and want a way out. Well now they have a chance to own their home and help local people at the same time, because the money will be used to build more social and affordable housing, so it is a great deal for everyone.
"The demand from Council tenants is huge but many of them do not know about the discounts or where to turn to for advice, but the scheme is open to thousands of people in Stevenage. In April we even reduced the amount of time you need to have rented a council house from 5 years to 3 years so as many people as possible get a chance to own their home.
"Stevenage benefitted massively from Right To Buy in the past when thousands of local people achieved their dream of home ownership and it is only right that we extend that opportunity to thousands more people living in Stevenage today. I have even launched a free online service to help council and social housing tenants find out how to buy their own homes www.righttobuystevenage.com.
"However Stevenage Borough Council needs to get out there and start proactively telling tenants about these dramatic new discounts, if thousands of local people are going to be given the chance of owning their home."