In a column for the Guardian, the London mayoral candidate said ‘a complete freeze’ was needed on the government’s plans to enable a further 800,000 social housing tenants the right to purchase their home at a discounted cost.
Lammy said that the amendment would propose for Right to Buy sales to be restarted only once there are as many social homes in a particular area as there were when the scheme was first introduced.
He explained it was important to replenish the UK’s social housing stock before moving to sell more of it under Right to Buy.
Findings published by Inside Housing magazine last week revealed that 40% of ex-council homes are now rented privately, in some cases for more than four times the original rental rate.
Lammy said the impact of the scheme’s extension would impact negatively on the UK’s younger generation, who are already paying ‘increasingly eye-watering private rents’ and significant commuting costs.
Writing for the Guardian, Lammy said: “That is why it’s not enough to campaign against the extension of right to buy, or to settle for a replacement of homes on a one-for-one basis. Too much damage has already been done. If we are to protect council homes and mixed communities in our towns and cities, it is time to end right to buy.”
In July, the House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment to the Charities Bill by 257 to 174 which could block the government’s extension of Right to Buy. Presenting the argument, Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town explained the amendment drew on housing associations’ status as a charitable entity, which under the Charities Bill means they should not be compelled to sell assets where it runs counter to their purpose.