Lib Dems say “Forcing the right-to-buy on housing associations was a stupid policy before the election and remains a stupid policy after the election.”
Extending the right-to-buy to housing association tenants was a central commitment of the Conservative manifesto in May’s General Election. Now the Government have put forward their plans to compensate housing associations for every home sold using funds raised through forcing councils to sell off their highest value housing stock.
Councillor Tricia Bamford, the Liberal Democrat’s Housing Spokesperson, said
“There is a housing crisis taking place now and homelessness is rising, forcing the right-to-buy on housing associations was a stupid policy before the election and remains a stupid policy after the election.
In Kingston, this policy could result in the sale of four out of ten council houses that will be lost forever without any 'cash-back' to enable house building as originally promised.
When interviewed by the Sunday Politics Show about the proposal, even Zac Goldsmith MP alluded to being concerned about how it’s going to pan out in London, so maybe he will vote against the Bill in Parliament.”
The Government also announced plans to cut affordable housing rents by 1% for the next four years, leaving a further huge hole in Kingston’s Housing budget of £9.36million. It is hoped the Government will look at closing this funding gap in the forthcoming spending review, so that both housing associations and local authorities are able to replace the homes they sell with new affordable homes to rent.’
Cllr Bamford concluded,
“When you look at the combined impact of selling high value council homes and the policy of cutting affordable housing rents too – it could make it virtually impossible for Kingston to build new homes which is exactly the opposite to what we need to do and leaves the Conservatives locally in a muddle and a mess!”