If the Tories win the election they are promising to extend Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy scheme to housing associations. It will mean even fewer homes people can afford to live in.
It’s a signal that they want to finally finish off council housing. And it smacks of desperation—the Tories are in a hole and think appealing to the past can get them out.
But Thatcher’s Right to Buy meant the loss of 1.88 million council homes since 1980, with just 345,000 new ones built.
The obsession with profit-driven housing has put five million people onto waiting lists and even more are stuck in poor quality, insecure housing they can’t afford.
It’s an absolute lie when Nigel Farage and Ukip, and to some extent the main parties, say we have a housing crisis because of immigrants.
They are echoing the racist rhetoric we heard from the Nazi BNP in the 1990s.
The main parties are playing a numbers game. Labour says it will build 200,000 homes and the Tories say 250,000. But these numbers are meaningless.
If these homes are priced somewhere between the billionaires’ penthouses and the 80 percent of market rent that politicians call affordable, they won’t help a bit.
I’m campaigning locally to save the Holland Estate. It faces yet another attempt at demolition and “regeneration” led by private developers.
My election campaign is calling for serious measures to control rents. We need to restore the rights of tenants and of homeless people. But the cornerstone of our campaign is an emergency national programme of council housing. The money is there. The land is there.
And only a policy that increases by millions the number of genuinely affordable homes can work.
Can we stop the housing crisis?
Public meeting with Glyn Robbins and film maker Ken Loach.
Wed 22 Apr, 7pm, Osmani Centre, Underwood Rd, London E1 5AW