For Sale: London’s social homes

15 July 2015

This meeting took place on 16 July 2015. Read the transcript for the first section here and the second section here

The government has announced plans to extend right-to-buy to people renting from a housing association.

Housing associations say the forced sales of their assets will undermine their social mission for better housing.

Meanwhile, councils have to sell some of their homes on the open market to fund this policy – in some cases, homes they’ve only just built. Will it stop councils from building? And will this make council housing waiting lists even longer?

The Mayor has expressed concerns about the changes [1] - but can he use his influence to protect London’s social homes? How could City Hall help?

The London Assembly Housing Committee will hold an urgent one-off session tomorrow to discuss this aspect of the government’s radical overhaul of social housing.

The changes will be discussed with the following guests from 10am:

Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing, London Borough of Hackney

Cllr James Murray, Executive Member for Housing and Development, London Borough of Islington

Laura Johnson, Director of Housing, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Chair of Directors of Housing, London Councils

Ron Hollis, Local Authority Tenant Representative, London Tenants Federation

The focus will then move on housing associations, with the following guests:

Lord Kerslake, Chair, Peabody, and former Permanent Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government

Jim Ripley, Chair, Phoenix Housing

Cllr Alan Hall, Chair, Overview & Scrutiny, London Borough of Lewisham

Pat Turnbull, Housing Association Tenant Representative, London Tenants Federation

For both sessions:

Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, Greater London Authority

James Clark, Housing Policy Manager, GLA Housing and Land

John Bibby, Policy Officer, Shelter

The meeting will take place tomorrow, Thursday 16 July from 10:00am in Committee Room 5, City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.


Notes for Editors:

“To make this policy work, it has to deliver more homes. It would be the height of insanity to use the proceeds of council home sales in London to help build more homes outside and away from London because it is in London where we have a housing crisis.” – Mayor of London Boris Johnson, 21 May, Mayor’s Question Time.

The agenda and committee papers are available here.

Tom Copley AM, Chair of the Housing Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Ash Singleton on 020 7983 5769. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.