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MP Condemns Social Housing Sell-Off

January 12, 2016 5:28 PM

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron warned of the "death of social housing", particularly in rural areas, during a parliamentary debate today.

During a debate in parliament today on the government's Housing Bill, Tim spoke out against Conservative 'Right to Buy' plans. Tim argued that plans to sell off high-value social housing with no guarantee of replacement would lead to a severe reduction in social and affordable housing, which would hit the most vulnerable the hardest. There are already 1.6million people on social housing waiting lists, Tim pointed out, arguing that the government's resources "should be focused on building new homes".

Tim argued that the government's plans would have a particularly bad impact on rural areas such as South Lakeland, describing the proposals as an "assault on rural communities".

Tim has repeatedly called for the government to adopt an amendment which he tabled, which would ensure that any housing which is sold off is first replaced by another equivalent home in the same local authority area. This would ensure that people have the opportunity to buy their own home, without depleting the overall stock of social housing and depriving those on the social housing waiting list of the chance to get a home.

Tim said: "The government's plans to sell off social housing are a disaster for those who rely on social housing and are languishing on the waiting list, particularly in rural areas such as South Lakeland.

"The current plans, which contain no guarantee that sold-off housing will be replaced, can only be taken to indicate a desire to get rid of social housing.

"What the government should be focusing on is building more affordable homes, rather than selling off existing ones."