Brent could lose 22,253 social housing homes through new right-to-buy scheme, claims Labour Mayoral contender
PUBLISHED: 12:47 04 August 2015 | UPDATED: 15:33 04 August 2015
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Up to 22,253 social homes in Brent could be lost under the government's controversial right-to-buy plans, according to a Labour Mayoral contender.
Sadiq Khan, Labour MP for Tooting, who is looking to replace Boris Johnson as London Mayor, used figures from the National Housing Federation.
The statistics reveal thousands of social housing properties in the borough will be sold off at a discount as a result of the Conservative’s new housing policies.
Under the plans the right-to-buy policy is to be extended to housing association properties, meaning 19,363 homes are at risk of being sold off in Brent.
Mr Khan claims there are no guarantees any replacements homes will be built.
The government has indicated it will fund the scheme by forcing local authorities to sell off the most valuable third of their council houses.
Mr Khan claims this would be around 2,889 homes, with the proceeds being handed to the housing associations.
Aformer Communities Minister, Mr Khan announced he intends to put forward an amendment to the Conservative bill to protect social housing by making it the law that no council home or housing association property can be sold off under right to buy until a like-for-like replacement home has been built nearby first.
An online petition has attracted more than 15,500 signatures.
He said: “We all know that London has a chronic housing crisis – we simply don’t have enough social housing for people to rent. The government’s solution is not to build more affordable homes in Brent, instead they want to sell them off.
“They’re planning to force housing associations to sell their homes through right-to-buy and what’s more, they’re planning to pay for this by forcing councils, like Brent, to sell off large numbers of council homes on the open market.
“I think this is totally wrongheaded and will only make London’s housing crisis worse.
“Although the government have not published their bill yet we have a good idea what will be in it, and so I’ve drafted a change to their plans.
“I’m calling on the Government to halt their damaging proposal to force councils to sell off homes. And my amendment, which has already been backed by more than 15,000 people, will enshrine into law a guarantee that no housing association property can be sold under right-to-buy until a local replacement has been built first.”
Brandon Lewis, Housing Minister, said the scheme will help anyone who ‘works hard and aspires to own their own home to turn their dream into a reality’.