Politicians of every type are trying to mitigate the feared ill-effects of the government’s plans to extend the right to buy and force the sale of more council homes
Bad news. We won’t be waking up to the sweet relief that it was all some crazy dream. The government’s housing and planning bill really is going to be turned into law and there’s not much London’s politicians and policy eggheads can do except try to extract the best from a bad job – a “bonkers” bad job, according to a senior representative of London’s business community.
This reaction to the proposed legislation underlines that the scarcity and high cost of homes in the city – the hollering mismatch between what’s needed and the too little that is being supplied – worries a broad spectrum of interested parties, from outer left campaign groups to kingpin capitalist employers, and embraces some of London’s poorest residents right up to middle income households in public and private sector alike – the teachers, chefs, bus drivers and even solicitors described in a recent Centre for London report.
That measure of consensus is helping the capital’s two layers of government, the boroughs and the Greater London Authority (GLA), and many of its MPs make a broadly collective attempt to persuade communities and local government (DCLG) secretary Greg Clark’s department that it would be foolish to sustain a substantial net loss of dwellings across the “affordable” range in the city and wise to bring about the opposite. The hard part concerns how many homes for social rent are to be lost, what numbers and types of “affordable” homes might take their place and where they are going to be built. […]