08 February 2016

Lambeth Labour launches new campaign against disastrous “Housing Bill of Horrors”

Lambeth Labour has launched a new campaign against this Housing and Planning Bill – dubbed the “Housing Bill of Horrors” – which Vassall councillors have described as a “bad deal for council tenants, private sector renters and anyone looking to buy a home in Vassall.”

The Bill is currently going through the House of Lords and if passed will result in:

  • Private developers being able to get out of their current obligations to provide social housing: rules that have seen 2500 social and affordable rented homes secured for local families in the past five years by Lambeth’s planning committee.
  • The replacement of the current definition of affordable homes with new ‘starter homes’ that will cost up to £450,000 meaning that only people with incomes above £77,000 will be able to afford them.
  • An end to lifetime tenancies for new council tenants, reducing tenancies to a maximum of just five years for vulnerable families.
  • New measures that will force Lambeth to sell around 120 council homes a year to the highest bidder to pay for the introduction of the right to buy in housing associations,
  • A new tax on working council tenants that forces them to choose between worklessness and homelessness by charging them the difference in cost between their council rent and the market value: as much as £15,000 in Brixton.
  • No action on soaring private sector rents and house prices in Lambeth.
To help put pressure on the government, Lambeth is launching a new petition which residents can sign here – more information about the impact of the Bill can be found here.

Vassall councillors, Jacqui Dyer, Annie Gallop and Paul Gadsby, said:

“This legislation is quite rightly being described as the Housing Bill of Horrors. It contains a huge number of negative proposals that will affect council tenants, private sector renters and anyone looking to buy a home in our community. It will strip powers away from councils to hold developers to account on the amount of social housing they provide, it sets a ridiculously high definition of “affordable homes” which will price local residents out of the housing market and it does nothing to address the issues with the private rental sector.

“Lambeth Labour is doing its best to provide a solution to the housing crisis in the borough. We are building a 1,000 council homes by 2018, upgrading existing council properties and cracking down on private sector landlords. But this Bill will undermine all this good work.

“We urge all local residents to sign this petition, and share it with their friends, neighbours and colleagues. London needs positive solutions to the housing crisis – this Bill provides the exact opposite.”