Monday, January 11, 2016

Right to Buy could see homelessness return to 1980s levels

The government’s Right to Buy scheme could see homelessness return to the levels of the 1980s Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Olly Grender warned yesterday (Monday).

Former Director of Communications for Shelter, Baroness Olly Grender asked a question in the House of Lords to challenge the government over its abandonment of the homelessness strategy.

Liberal Democrats oppose the Housing and Planning Bill which threatens to end social housing in Britain as we know it. With 1.6 million people nationwide on housing waiting lists and homelessness steadily increasing year, on year, the government should start to tackle the housing shortage and stick to the plans to build 300,000 homes a year.

Baroness Olly Grender said, “Social housing with no legal guarantee of replacement can be anything other than abandonment of the homelessness strategy altogether and a return to the 1980s when kids out of care and troops returning home were left with no option but sleeping rough?”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron said, “Today’s Housing Bill threatens to end social housing in Britain as we know it. 

“Selling off homes and pushing people out of the communities they have grown up in is tantamount to social cleansing, ripping the hearts from communities where people have lived and belonged to for many years.”

Lib Dem Councillor Peter Maughan said, "In Gateshead we already have far more demand for social housing than we have available homes. The government's plans will make a bad situation worse.

"Ministers should focus instead on building affordable homes on brownfield sites. Unfortunately, on Gateshead Council, we have a Labour party that are putting their effort into building executive homes on the greenbelt, not supplying affordable homes for Gateshead residents."