Socialist Worker

Stop ‘all-out attack’ on social housing

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2485

The Tories were set to try and rush their new Housing and Planning Bill through its last stages in the House of Commons this week. Campaigners warn it could mean “the end of social housing”.

Around 200 housing protesters rallied outside parliament on Tuesday of this week. It was called by Architects for Social Housing (Ash) and the Kill the Housing Bill campaign, which includes the Defend Council Housing campaign.

Genine, a tenant from Camberwell in south London told Socialist Worker, “I’ve lived in social housing all my life—I just find it so scary that this could happen.”

One late addition to the bill is a measure to scrap secure lifetime tenancies for council tenants.

This would affect all new tenants, as well as existing tenants if their homes are redeveloped.

It would also push councils to sell off “high value” homes, remove control over council rents and extend the right to buy to housing association homes.

It removes the obligation for developers to build a few homes at lower social rents in their developments. Instead they only have to build “starter homes” for sale at up to £450,000.

Simon Elmer from Ash explained, “This is a very sneaky bit of legislation—it’s presented as a response to the housing crisis, but that conceals an all-out attack on social housing.”

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Tue 5 Jan 2016, 16:54 GMT
Issue No. 2485
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