The national Guardian has an interesting piece on recent developments in the housing sector:
Matthew Bennett, cabinet member for housing in Lambeth [has]written to NHF boss David Orr to express his “outrage” about the “back room deal”. He continues:
As you may be aware Lambeth, like the rest of London, is facing a severe housing crisis. With 22,000 people on the waiting list for a council or housing association home, families in high need are waiting in excess of five years to secure a home. Almost 1,900 families – the vast majority of whom are families with children – are homeless and living in temporary accommodation and 1,300 families are severely overcrowded.
The deal that you are recommending that Housing Associations sign up to will force Lambeth to sell over 120 council homes a year on the open market. Over three-fifths of those will be family sized homes. Like many councils, we thought the National Housing Federation was an ally in opposing these regressive changes, instead we discover you are an advocate for the loss of social housing.
Bennett, in Brighton for the Labour conference, has used Twitter to hit back. He writes that Orr’s letter “misses the point” about bypassing parliament and reminds his followers that the “grubby” deal “will force the sale of council homes.” He also takes exception to Orr’s observation in his letter that the NHF never advocated the right-to-buy extension being funded by the sale of council homes. It wasn’t him, guv!
Bennett’s riposte? “No, but the backroom deal will lead to exactly that outcome.” He also draws attention to Orr’s confidence about providing one-for-one replacements at national level”. Bennett reckons that means “a likely significant loss of affordable homes in London.” Such an outcome has been feared from the off. Even Boris Johnson has seemed worried about it.
Lambeth housing chief attacks ‘grubby’ right-to-buy deal with Tories http://t.co/y0zRIbC1dg #ukhousing