Lewisham Council has passed a motion which opposing the Government’s plans to extend the Right to Buy program to housing association tenants.
The motion, proposed by Cllr Will Cooper and seconded by Cllr Rosie Parry, outlines the Council’s opposition to the Government’s proposals, which threaten to increase housing waiting lists and intensify the current housing crisis. Though the Government has noted it will replace houses sold off, it is unlikely to be able to do as it has no direct power over how housing associations build and replace properties.
Rosie Parry, Labour Councillor for Deptford, said:
“Rather than making home ownership more acceptable, Right to Buy has helped fuel a grossly inequitable rental market, in which 4/5 low-income working-age households are spending more than a third of their income on housing costs.
“Estimations show that 40% of properties sold under Right to Buy have since been sold off, which means an asset which should ensure housing benefit ends up back in the public purse, is instead being used to funnel money into the hands of private companies and landlords.”
Cllr Will Cooper, Labour Councillor for Evelyn Ward, said:
“Right to Buy for council housing has been a defining factor of the current housing crisis we find ourselves in. Council housing has been decimated with us not even having anywhere near enough properties to house even the most vulnerable in our borough.
“Since 2018 we’ve lost 234 homes to Right to Buy, and that’s 234 more than we can afford in the current crisis. With 10,000 on the housing waiting list, a further sell-off of social housing is the very last thing our borough needs.”