Housing campaigners warn of dire effects of Bill

Written by on January 23, 2016 in Housing, News - 1 Comment

Rashid NixFormer Brixton resident Rashid Nix was back in town today (23 January) to rally support for the 30 January demonstration against the government’s Housing Bill that is being organised by local activists.

They say it will lead to a “catastrophic” loss of affordable private and social housing to rent across London.

Campaigning for the Green Party outside KFC, Nix, a community film-make who once lived on the Loughborough Estate, said: “Wake up Londoners. The bricks and mortar of our communities are being sold from around us.

“The Housing and Planning Bill sounds the death knell for council estates and housing association homes in London.

“Let this go through and, in a few years, ordinary Londoners will have all been forced out and living in the capital will be a privilege only the super-rich and wealthy can afford.”

The campaigners say that:

If you are a council and housing association tenant

Your rent will rise massively if you and others in your household TOGETHER earn more than £40,000.

Secure tenancies will be phased out and replaced by ones lasting no more than five years.

You cannot stay on in your home if your parents die.

If you have bought your own home or rent on a council or housing association estate

Your estate can be designated a “brownfield site” by the government, then demolished and turned over to private developers.

If you are waiting for a council home

There will be far fewer available in London as the “right to buy” – which will apply to housing association as well as council properties – transfers social housing to the private market.

Councils will forced to sell any “high value” properties that become vacant – in London that means most of them.

Councils will no longer be able to insist that private developers include social rented housing in their plans. Instead, they will build “starter homes” costing £450,000 for private sale.

If you are a Londoner without a very high income

The cost of renting and buying will rise even faster as the supply of really affordable social housing is cut.

More information:

Evidence submitted to Parliament by Architects for Social Housing

The End of Social Housing

Briefing by Shelter on the Housing and Planning Bill

Parliamentary home page of Housing and Planning Bill

About the Author

Alan Slingsby moved to Brixton just as the 1981 uprising began. His nearest pub was the Effra and nearest off licence the Frontline — long gone in an earlier wave of closures of treasured community establishments. He works out of an office in St Matthews and before that the Bon Marché. Has edited newspapers for the National Union of Students and National Union of Teachers. Now makes a living designing magazines and books and anything else people will pay him for.

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