MQT on 2002-10-23
Session date: 
October 23, 2002
Question By: 
Trevor Phillips
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Last week at the Tory conference David Davis announced a `initiative" of extending the Right-to-Buy to registered social Landlords. What effect does the Mayor think such a policy would have for affordable housing in London? Should such a policy eventually be enacted in London, what powers does the Mayor have under his planning remit to limit its effect on London?



Answer for Right-to-Buy

Answer for Right-to-Buy

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am frankly appalled that any politician should advocate the further loss of crucial affordable housing. Every sensible commentator and analyst knows that the loss of housing through inappropriate use of Right-to-Buy (RTB) has exacerbated London's housing crisis, leaving many people in poor housing or none at all - witness the high financial cost and human misery of homeless people in London and elsewhere.David Davis proposed that monies from sales would be ploughed back in to replacement housing. This would create a system that depended heavily on the goodwill of a Conservative Treasury to ensure that money was earmarked for replacement, and presumably would need substantial top-up funds to ensure that any discounted sale receipts were adequate to ensure replacement. Even if this were so, there would be a delay as development programmes take time to mature.So I am strongly against this proposal. We should be increasing the supply of affordable housing, not depleting it.My planning powers are likely to be extremely limited in this aspect of housing. Any intervention would depend on the exact nature of the proposals - for example, whether there would be regional discretion to restrict such RTB activity in high-demand areas such as London. .