The new Right To Buy is a terrible deal for Wandsworth

Councillor Simon Hogg listens to local people in York Gardens Library

Councillor Simon Hogg listens to local people in York Gardens Library

Speech to Wandsworth Council, October 14, 2015

The new Right To Buy is a terrible deal for Wandsworth.

The housing policies the Tories seems so proud of will cost Wandsworth tens of millions of pounds – and do nothing to help renters, the homeless or most people on ordinary incomes hoping to buy.

And, when you add them up, the policies will mean the slow death of social housing.

Right To Buy is a good policy when it helps council tenants become home-owners and a new council house is built from profit. But that’s not happening. It never has.

Let’s judge Wandsworth Tories on their record. In the last 25 years, 14,791 local council homes have been sold off and only 5,170 affordable homes built in their place. We’re 10,000 short.

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Wandsworth’s Housing Offer: A homeless crisis, unfair rents & favours for developers

Speech to Wandsworth Council, 28 January 2015

This paper covers council rents, money to tackle the homelessness crisis and elements of councillor Govindia’s new housing strategy. There are positive and negative sides to each.

On council rents, the average increase this year will be 2.2%. This is fair – but in reality almost no one will actually pay it.

Sometimes you just have to look at a policy and apply a common sense check. 10,000 of our tenants will get less than £1 a week rent rise but 3,500 households on historically lower rents will get more than £8 a week rent rise, with almost nothing in between. Continue reading

Read all about it: Wandsworth’s housing crisis hits the newspapers

My recent blog post Analysis: ‘Wandsworth fixes rents by elections not economics’ led to quite a lot of interest from the press. Not all of the coverage was balanced, but it has helped to draw attention to an important issue:

Private Eye Article

Private Eye, March 22 Continue reading