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House building powers to be given to tenants

An increase in house building could be on the cards in certain areas, thanks to new legislation being brought into force by the government that will give social tenants the power to boost house building in their area.

Right to Transfer, which is coming into force in the autumn, will mean that tenants can take control over future investment into their communities by requesting new homes to be built.

The plans will work alongside the £19.5bn public and private investment to build 170,000 affordable homes by 2015, and plans in the Spending Review to invest £3.3bn to deliver 165,000 affordable homes over 3 years from 2015 – equivalent to the fastest annual rate of housebuilding for 20 years.

As part of the deal, housing associations will need to show plans in place that will lead to the building of new affordable homes and the improvement of existing stock.

Housing minister Mark Prisk said: “Combined with the multi-billion pound investment we’re making, these steps will help ensure we reach the fastest annual rate of housebuilding for two decades, delivering the affordable homes this country needs, and putting real power into the hands of local people who live in them.”

The new rights will also let social tenants who want to see their homes owned, managed and maintained by a housing association rather than a council, request for a change of ownership.

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