My recent speech on housing

The legislation to implement the Right to Buy was passed in the Housing Act 1980. The right to buy has made a huge dent in the supply of social housing.  The policy has created a short-term gain for individual households but a long-term problem for the nation in terms of the supply of affordable homes. By selling on their homes or renting them out at market rates, some individuals have made a substantial profit from what was once a public asset.

The success of the policy has further stigmatised and excluded those households that can not afford to buy and increased the gap between rich and poor. Before the right-to-buy there was less of a stigma about renting a council house since more people on low to moderate incomes lived in a local authority properties. 

In that time council housing in Northampton has been reduced from something like 20,000 odd houses to closer to 11,000. At present we are not replacing the every property that is lost under RTB. 

There now aren't houses available for social housing any more because the government don't replace any of the ones which are sold, so eventually there'll be none left for the purpose they were built for originally.

Landlords will be the main beneficiaries of the policy.

The Government is trying to boost home ownership through ‘Help To Buy’ but in Northampton at large we need ‘Help To Supply’ as we need to build more houses.

Under the Conservatives’ new right-to-buy proposals, the result will be that a lucky few will be able to break in to the equity in homes they never owned, while further reducing the number of homes available for social housing. And sure as night follows day, individual right to buyers will cash in and many will sell to landlords.

The other problem is that council housing is just not being built, despite the government saying every home - both council house and housing association - lost under this scheme will be replaced.

Back in the 80s, Margaret thatcher decided to sell of the council houses, this would have been great if the money raised had gone back into building more social housing, but it didn’t. Now there are not enough houses to go round.

I think it would be a brilliant idea if for every house sold, there was another built. Shortage of land obviously isn’t a problem because private developments are constantly going up somewhere.

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