The Mayor of London needs to come clean over his stance on extending the ‘right to buy’ for housing association tenants, was the clear message he received at Mayor’s Question Time today.
Speaking after Mayor’s Question Time, Stephen Knight AM, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly housing spokesperson said:
“The government’s plan to extend the right to buy to housing association tenants will be an incredibly expensive policy as well as undermining the viability of the whole housing association sector.
“Each such home sold in London will require a public subsidy to the new home owner of over £100,000 and the Institute of Fiscal Studies puts the national price tag at almost £12 billion pounds over the next five years - money that could instead be used to build new affordable homes.
“To make matters even worse, London local authorities are to be forced to sell up to a third of their existing social housing properties as they become vacant to pay for this crazy plan, denying local residents access to much needed council homes.
“Only two months ago the Mayor highlighted that housing associations are private organisations and forcing through right to buy would involve massive subsidies. Now he has become a loyal Tory MP his priority seems to be defending his Government’s unfunded aspirations.
“Extending Right to Buy to housing associations will lead to a damaging contraction in the supply of affordable homes in London and add to London’s housing crisis.
“It is time for the Mayor to decide whether he will stand up for the needs of Londoners or simply be a backbench poodle of the government – voting fodder for whatever barmy scheme it puts forward.
“The Mayor’s number one housing priority should be deliverying more affordable homes, not defending ill thought out plans from Conservative central office.”
Notes to editors:
The Institute of Fiscal Studies recent briefing on the impact of the extension of the right to buy to housing association tenants.