Councils are prevented from borrowing money for residential building. Councils are also reluctant to spend any reserves they have on council house building because Right to Buy means that they will rapidly lose the asset without even retaining enough income to replace it.
Councils can set up companies, however, and they can be the sole shareholder of a company. It is estimated that by 2020, half of all councils will have set up a housing development company. These housing development companies can borrow in order to build social and affordable housing, or they can build houses to sell for profit. As the law stands, these companies are not subject to Right to Buy legislation.
Should Lancaster City Council set up a housing development company?
Should the City Council build high end housing to be sold for profit to fund the development?
Should the City Council build genuinely affordable housing for those who are currently priced out of owning their own home?
Should the City Council focus on social housing?