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B444 - Appropriation of Abandoned Housing Bill 2012 watch

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    B444 - Appropriation of Abandoned Housing Bill 2012, TSR Socialist
    Preamble

    This House believes that the current situation of abandoned housing estates and high levels of homelessness within the country is both saddening and a failure of the country to its citizens. So long as squatting in abandoned property remains an issue, such property should be brought into public ownership for use in both council housing schemes and to provide shelter for homeless people awaiting rehousing.

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

    Part I: Appropriation of Abandoned Housing
    (1) Public ownership of abandoned housing
    (a) Ownership of any housing deemed to be abandoned is passed over to the County Council in whose jurisdiction it resides
    (b) The price at which the council shall purchase the property is £150,000.
    (c) The transfer of ownership of these properties is exempt from Stamp Duty and Capital Gains Tax.

    (2) Repeal of the Right to Buy Scheme
    (a) The Right to Buy scheme, as laid out in the Housing Act 1980, is repealed and sale of any council owned housing is solely the decision of the County Council.

    (3) For the purposes of this Act-
    “Abandoned” shall refer to any property not registered as the primary place of residence by any individual for more than 4 months, or registered with a letting agency/estate agent with intent to sell/rent.
    “County Council” shall refer to any democratically elected organisation that presides over the politics specific to a single county.

    Part II: Exemptions
    (1) Housing for which the owner has submitted a planning permission application within the previous 6 months is exempt from this Act.
    (2) Property owned by companies with the intent to use for either business or provision of housing to employees is exempt from this Act.

    Part III: Commencement, Short Title and Extent
    (a) This Act may be cited as the Abandoned Housing Bill 2012
    (b) This bill shall extend to the United Kingdom; and
    (c) Shall come into force on the 1st January 2013 following Royal Assent
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    It is the right of the owner to be able to leave their house for as long as they like.

    The right to buy scheme is one of the greatest policies ever created, this is nothing but an attack on peoples assets and a constraint on economic liberty.

    So No!

    (also it needs formatting properly but good to see the Socialists back)
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    Aye.

    The right to buy scheme has proved utterly disastrous for social housing in the UK, so that part has my full support.

    As for the public ownership aspect, I think the definition of an "abandoned" house should be altered to actually mean noone lives there. A person should legitimately be able to occupy more than one home, so perhaps change the definition to something like 'when there's no evidence of legal residency for 12 months'.

    It's just occurred to me that the GRT would affect this policy area in a couple of ways.
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    No.
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    No. There's a few things, whilst I agree that using land for no reason and not improving it and excluding others from a community resource is wrong - I believe that the best way to tackle this is through the land value tax. If people wish to leave a property abandoned and still pay the tax for owning the land then okay by me. I don't think the government should be ruining property rights by taking houses at a fixed price. I don't think the right to buy is bad - the problem is a lack of housing, whether it's council or privately owned is no difference and right to buy hasn't contributed to the housing shortage. So, no from me, I think the GRT tackles this effectively.
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    (Original post by JPKC)
    Aye.

    The right to buy scheme has proved utterly disastrous for social housing in the UK, so that part has my full support.

    As for the public ownership aspect, I think the definition of an "abandoned" house should be altered to actually mean noone lives there. A person should legitimately be able to occupy more than one home, so perhaps change the definition to something like 'when there's no evidence of legal residency for 12 months'.

    It's just occurred to me that the GRT would affect this policy area in a couple of ways.
    Please explain?

    The only failure has not being to replace these houses and this can and will be done in a future bill.
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    "Abandoned” shall refer to any property not registered as the primary place of residence by any individual for more than 4 months, or registered with a letting agency/estate agent with intent to sell/rent.
    So does this essentially mean the end of second homes?

    Also, I don't understand why there is an exact £150,000 figure. Some homes will be worth a lot more, others will be worth a lot less. Would it not be more sensible to base the purchase price on the value of the house, and not on some arbitrary figure?
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    Also, if you have a housing Bill, why not increase the amount of new council houses being built? Say, a million new council houses?

    According to the House of Commons Council Housing Group, not building a million new council houses is going to cost us £21.5 billion a year. Social housing is essentially an investment; it is an economic investment which provides short-term stimulus to the economy and reduces the amount of money we will have to pay in the future, while also bringing positive social effects by helping us deal with the housing problem.
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    (Original post by stanlas)
    So does this essentially mean the end of second homes?

    Also, I don't understand why there is an exact £150,000 figure. Some homes will be worth a lot more, others will be worth a lot less. Would it not be more sensible to base the purchase price on the value of the house, and not on some arbitrary figure?
    The £150,000 figure came from that the average house price in the UK (certainly the most recent figures for it that I could find) is £228,385 & as of last month (April 2nd, 2012), the maximum discount available from the right to buy scheme is £75,000. So by taking the maximum discount from the average house price you get a figure of roughly £150,000.
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    Whilst I would encourage the government to buy more vacant housing in which to house homeless people, it should be a purchase, and not what is effectively a repossession. No.
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    Nay! This bill is completely unnecessary in light of the fact that we have the Tax Act 2011 (which is being amended right now by the Tax Bill). The land value tax solves this in a far more efficient and natural way. Not to mention the fact that Part I(3) is absolutely ridiculous; how in the world is four months a reasonable time frame to call a house 'abandoned'?
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    (Original post by JPKC)
    As for the public ownership aspect, I think the definition of an "abandoned" house should be altered to actually mean noone lives there. A person should legitimately be able to occupy more than one home, so perhaps change the definition to something like 'when there's no evidence of legal residency for 12 months'.
    It might be difficult to record and find such evidence, though?

    (Original post by stanlas)
    Also, if you have a housing Bill, why not increase the amount of new council houses being built? Say, a million new council houses?

    According to the House of Commons Council Housing Group, not building a million new council houses is going to cost us £21.5 billion a year. Social housing is essentially an investment; it is an economic investment which provides short-term stimulus to the economy and reduces the amount of money we will have to pay in the future, while also bringing positive social effects by helping us deal with the housing problem.
    That's an idea. :beard: Thanks.
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    (Original post by Alofleicester)
    The £150,000 figure came from that the average house price in the UK (certainly the most recent figures for it that I could find) is £228,385 & as of last month (April 2nd, 2012), the maximum discount available from the right to buy scheme is £75,000. So by taking the maximum discount from the average house price you get a figure of roughly £150,000.

    Whilst some people clearly do take the piss in hogging properties waiting for prices to go up, leaving people homeless, isn't this going to encourage some (the same?) people to build crappy little properties worth less than £150k and make massive profits?

    For someone sitting on something they want to sell for £200k (for example), they could just bulldoze it and build loads of sheds now 'worth' £150k each. Exaggeration for sure, but you see my point.
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    (Original post by Hopple)
    Whilst some people clearly do take the piss in hogging properties waiting for prices to go up, leaving people homeless, isn't this going to encourage some (the same?) people to build crappy little properties worth less than £150k and make massive profits?

    For someone sitting on something they want to sell for £200k (for example), they could just bulldoze it and build loads of sheds now 'worth' £150k each. Exaggeration for sure, but you see my point.
    Good point. :holmes: That'll be something we have to remedy in a future reading.
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    (Original post by Hopple)
    Whilst some people clearly do take the piss in hogging properties waiting for prices to go up, leaving people homeless, isn't this going to encourage some (the same?) people to build crappy little properties worth less than £150k and make massive profits?

    For someone sitting on something they want to sell for £200k (for example), they could just bulldoze it and build loads of sheds now 'worth' £150k each. Exaggeration for sure, but you see my point.
    I see your point, and quite possibly it could but I believe there are restrictions on what a property must contain in order for it to be classified as a house, meaning that sheds example shouldn't be that much of a possibility.
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    aye
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    (Original post by Abiraleft)
    Good point. :holmes: That'll be something we have to remedy in a future reading.
    (Original post by Alofleicester)
    I see your point, and quite possibly it could but I believe there are restrictions on what a property must contain in order for it to be classified as a house, meaning that sheds example shouldn't be that much of a possibility.
    I meant shed as an exaggeration, but my point was someone could easily replace a decent house with more than one crappy house 'worth' less than £150k and the council would end up being ripped off. You're essentially guaranteeing a minimum house price of £150k (under pressure from the public to make the purchase, else why would this bill be even considered), but not taking into account that people can use the same land for more but less valuable properties.

    The upside is such people would be building quite a few more homes (to the minimum standard, and you could probably adjust this in regulations to be acceptable if not already), but then I'd argue it would be cheaper for the council to pay the market rate and do the building themselves anyway since they wouldn't be paying over the odds for any properties and would be able to get large contracts for the building work.
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    Given that we have the LVT implemented, this seems awfully pointless. If the government is still getting income from these properties, why stop that? Not to mention 4 months is ludicrous to count as "abandoned".

    Anecdotally, my brothers in-laws have done well enough in their working life that they spend their retirement with 6 months living in Anglesey, and 6 months in Sydney in a year. By this bill, you'd be forcing them to buy a new house every six months and you call that fair?
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    Rather than reducing freedoms to accommodate for a larger population, we should be closing our borders to unlimited immigration instead.
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    (Original post by Wednesday Bass)
    Given that we have the LVT implemented, this seems awfully pointless. If the government is still getting income from these properties, why stop that? Not to mention 4 months is ludicrous to count as "abandoned".

    Anecdotally, my brothers in-laws have done well enough in their working life that they spend their retirement with 6 months living in Anglesey, and 6 months in Sydney in a year. By this bill, you'd be forcing them to buy a new house every six months and you call that fair?
    Because ensuring people have a roof over their heads is more important than income?

    Not at all, there are options besides just leaving it unused for half of the year (e.g. rent it out for the months they spend in Sydney). However, if you want to discuss what is fair and what is not - is it fair that people can own multiple houses and not use some of them while other people have to sleep rough?
 
 
 
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