Recent reports in local newspapers highlight the absurdity of the Government’s flawed plan to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants. Be in no doubt, this policy is an assault on social housing that will result in the permanent loss of much needed council homes, while the state-sanctioned asset stripping of housing associations (many of which are charities) will undermine their ability to fund new housing development.
Instead of attacking social housing, the Government should follow the lead of local authorities like Islington that are building more of it. The National Housing Federation estimates the Right to Buy extension would cost UK taxpayers £12billion if all able and eligible tenants exercised their new right.
£2billion of this would be spent in Greater London – enough to build 66,000 much needed new affordable homes right across the capital. Given the scale of the housing crisis, it is outrageous that the Government is not spending this newly found money on building more homes, which would tackle the housing shortage for the benefit of all Londoners and create thousands of jobs in the process. Instead, the Government is simply offering to turn London’s housing crisis into a catastrophe.