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Conservative plans to extend Right-to-Buy to housing associations will intensify housing crisis


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Contact: Rachel Yates E: T: 0207 611 2569


Responding to the Conservative’s manifesto commitment to extend the Right-to-Buy to housing associations, a spokesperson from Class said:

“Britain is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis with over 245,000 homes needed to be built every year in England alone just to keep up with demand. This government has done almost nothing to tackle the crisis in housing supply and today’s announcement from the Conservatives indicates that they have no plans to get to grips with the real issues concerning voters.
“Previous Right-to-Buy policies have been disastrous for social housing and have added significantly to the numbers in housing need. Under this policy council housing stock has haemorrhaged and in many cases homes have ended up in the hands of private landlords rather than owner-occupiers. In London at least 36% of ex-council homes are now rented out by private landlords.
“The cause of Britain’s housing crisis is not that housing association tenants can’t buy their own homes – it’s that not enough homes are being built. Investment in housing is urgently needed but this policy is a dangerous and desperate attempt to woo voters and will only intensify the housing crisis for future generations.
“Britain’s housing market is broken and social housing has a hugely important role to play in ensuring secure and affordable homes are available for those who need them. Extending the Right-to-Buy to housing associations is a ploy to open up social assets to the market and sell-off valuable stock that should remain as a public resource.”

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Notes to Editors:
1. The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a new think tank established in 2012 to act as a centre for left debate and discussion and has the growing support of a number of trade Unions including ASLEF, CWU, FEU, GFTU, GMB, NUT, PCS, PFA, TSSA, UCATT, Unite the Union, MU, NUM, BFAWU and UCU. Originating in the labour movement, Class is working with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today.
2. 245,000 homes is the figure from Holmans, A. (2013), Tomorrow Series Paper 16: new estimates of housing demand and need in England, 2011 to 2031, Town & Country Planning.  
3. The 36% of ex-council homes now rented out by private landlords in London figure is from: 

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For further information, articles, interviews or media requests please contact Rachel Yates on or 0207 611 2569.