After new analysis found that the Bill could force London councils to sell off as many as 10,500 affordable homes every year with much of the money being used to fund new homes in other parts of the country, I am calling on the Mayor to vote against the Housing and Planning Bill when it returns to Parliament.
Provisions set out in the legislation, which was published earlier this month, include plans to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants. The scheme would be funded by forcing councils to sell ‘higher value’ housing, with evidence from the Greater London Authority (GLA) suggesting that as many as 10,500 affordable homes in the capital could be sold each year as a result. The money made from selling these homes will go to central Government, not local councils, meaning much of the money raised in the capital could be spent elsewhere given London’s greater number of ‘high value’ homes.
In May, Mayor Boris Johnson set out four conditions which needed to be met if the policy was to work in the capital:
- The money raised from council housing sales in London must be spent in London
- The policy must preserve London’s mixed communities
- It must deliver more housing overall
- It must deliver more affordable housing overall
However, the Government’s decision not to include measures which would ensure sums raised in London are retained in the capital means that the current plans fall well short of the Mayor’s ‘red lines’. Additionally, no provision is included in the Bill to guarantee the delivery of more housing and additional affordable housing, whilst concerns abound that the failure to replace social housing in equal numbers will erode London’s traditional mixed communities.
Boris has laid down his red lines. I urge him not to cross them, and to oppose this devastating legislation.