MIL-OSI UK: News from Tom Copley: Councils fork out millions renting back Right to Buy properties

Source: London Assembly

Councils fork out “eye-watering” £22 million a year renting back Right to Buy homes

 

Councils in London are spending over £22 million each year renting back homes sold under the Right to Buy, according to a new report. Right to Buy: Wrong for London, from Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, also identifies that the number of Right to Buy homes now in London’s private rented sector has hit at least 54,000. Mr Copley said that at a time when the need for homes at social rent level far outweighs the numbers being built, it was “reckless” of the Government to continue with the Right to Buy. He said it was failing London and called for its abolition.

 

Responses to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests submitted by Mr Copley to all London councils, found that the number of Right to Buy homes now in the private rented sector has risen by at least 11,825 in the last five years to approximately 54,000. These figures are considered conservative, as some local councils did not provide data. 42% of homes sold through Right to Buy in London are now being rented out by private landlords at market rates (up from 36% in 2014).

 

The capital needs 30,972 new low-cost rented homes every year, according to the 2017 London Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). With demand outstripping supply – just 7,905 low-cost rented homes have been built in the last five years – councils are being forced to rent back properties formerly sold under the Right to Buy to use as temporary accommodation to meet the needs of homeless families. Mr Copley’s report found that at least 2,333 Right to Buy homes are now being rented by local authorities, with Newham alone renting back 808 of these at a cost of £12.9 million per year. The total yearly cost to councils renting back these properties is at least £22,345,760. Westminster Council are renting back 650 former council homes, but couldn’t provide a figure for the annual cost of this. Based on the average cost of renting back council homes across London this could be in excess of £8 million a year.

 

In 2012 the Government decided to ‘reinvigorate’ Right to Buy, increasing the discount on council homes to £75,000 across England. The following year the discount was increased to £100,000 in London. The Government promised one-for-one replacement, within three years, on any additional homes sold due to the increased discount. By March 2018 the Government were falling behind on this pledge. Nationally, since 2012, 17,072 additional replacements were required, but the number of homes started or acquired was below 16,000.

 

The Mayor of London has pledged to start 11,000 new council and Right to Buy replacement homes by 2022. He has also introduced a new ‘ring-fence offer’ for London councils to protect their Right to Buy receipts. But in order to meet need, some councils are buying back homes they had previously sold under the Right to Buy. Ealing Council, for example, has bought back 516 former council properties. Whilst more than half of these were for regeneration projects, Ealing found themselves spending £107,071,333 buying these back – more than six times the £16,230,470 they received through the original sales of these homes, which were discounted by a total of £15,648,455 under the Right to Buy.

 

Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, said:

 

“Something has gone very wrong when tens of thousands of homes built to be let at social rents for the public good are now being rented out at market rates for private profit, sometimes back to the very councils that were forced to sell them. 

 

“The Right to Buy is failing London and should be abolished. Home ownership is still important for many people, but it can’t come at any cost, particularly if it means families struggling to put a roof over their heads or living in poor conditions. It’s not right that cash-strapped councils are having to fork-out eye-watering amounts renting back properties they were forced to sell at a discount.

 

“Many councils are building new council homes again for the first time in a generation. But we risk treading water or even going backwards if we continue to lose precious existing homes to Right to Buy.

 

“At a time when the need for homes at social rent level far outweighs the numbers being built, it’s reckless to continue to force the discounted sale of council homes. 

 

“At the very least, we want to see the Government exempting newly built council homes from the Right to Buy and legislating to prevent Right to Buy homes being let on the private market. But with councils fearing their investment in social housing could be wasted, and the Right to Buy adding to London’s housing crisis, abolition is the best way to protect the capital’s social housing stock.”

 

ENDS

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Settling the unsettled: Life in temporary accommodation

Source: London Assembly

The number of London households in temporary accommodation has risen by 50% in the past 5 years, including around 90,000 children.

 

As rents are rising across the capital so are arrears and evictions, particularly those who depend on benefits to pay their rent.

 

London councils have a statutory duty to provide accommodation for those deemed homeless. However, councils are finding it increasingly difficult to find enough temporary accommodation to meet the demand.

 

Tomorrow, the London Assembly Housing Committee will discuss the link between those who find themselves in temporary accommodation and the current climate of welfare reforms.

 

The guests are:

 

From 10am

 

  • Natalie Williamson, Senior Policy Officer, Residential Landlords Association
  • Lee Georgiou, Housing Needs Manager, London Borough of Lewisham
  • Julia Pitt, Director of Gateway services, London Borough of Croydon
  • Matt Campion, Chief Executive, Shepherd’s Bush Housing Group

 

From 11am:

 

  • Deborah Halling, Senior Policy Officer, GLA Housing & Land
  • Richard d’Souza, Head of the Universal Credit Engagement Division, Department for Work & Pensions
  • Mark Baigent, Director of Place Limited, Interim Divisional Director, Housing and Regeneration, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

 

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, 21 January at 10.00am in Committee Room 5, City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

 

Media and members of the public are invited to attend

The meeting can also be viewed LIVE via webcast or Youtube.   

Follow us on Twitter and take part in the meeting discussion using #AssemblyHousing and #TempHousing

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Coming up next week at the London Assembly – 18 January 2019

Source: London Assembly

EVENTS:

 

Monday 21 January 2019

Holocaust Memorial Day

11am

 

The London Assembly and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will hosting a special service to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. The theme for this year is Torn from Home. The ceremony will commemorate victims of the Holocaust and reflect upon those affected by more recent genocides.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Genocide in Cambodia and the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda. 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228

 

 

 

PUBLICATIONS:

 

Thursday 24 January 2019

Aircraft Noise

 

After hearing from residents and airport operators, the Environment Committee publishes its report ‘Aircraft Noise’.

 

It makes a number of urgent recommendations to reduce the noise nuisance for people living under busy flight paths.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Giles Broadbent on 020 7983 4067

 

 

 

PUBLIC MEETINGS:

 

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Temporary Accommodation & Welfare Reform

Housing Committee – 10.00am in Committee Room 5 

 

The Housing Committee will discuss the link between welfare reforms and the rise in the number of Londoners living in temporary accommodation.

 

The guests are:

 

From 10am:

 

  • Natalie Williamson, Senior Policy Officer, Residential Landlords Association
  • Lee Georgiou, Housing Needs Manager, London Borough of Lewisham
  • Julia Pit, Director of Gateway services, London Borough of Croydon
  • Matt Campion, Chief Executive, Shepherd’s Bush Housing Group

 

From 11am:

 

  • Deborah Halling, Senior Policy Officer, Greater London Authority Housing & Land 
  • Richard d’Souza, Head of the Universal Credit Engagement Division, Department for Work & Pensions
  • Mark Baigent, Director of Place Limited, Interim Divisional Director, Housing and Regeneration, London Borough of Tower Hamlets. 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Funmi Olutoye on 020 7084 2713

 

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Stop & Search

Police & Crime Committee – 10.00am in Committee Room 5 

 

The Police and Crime Committee will be hearing from Londoners about how stop and search has changed, the way in which the Met engages with communities around stop and search, and the use of Section 60.

 

Guests are:

 

  • Deji Adeoshun, Youth Leadership Manager, Hackney Council Voluntary Service (CVS) 
  • Oluwatosin Adegoke, Stop and Search Monitoring Group, Hackney CVS
  • Derreem Huggins, GLA peer Outreach Team
  • Jay Bance, GLA Peer Outreach Team
  • Jason Xeni, GLA peer Outreach Team
  • Neena Samota, StopWatch and Programme Director Criminology and Sociology and Programme Director MA Human Trafficking, Migration and Organised Crime, St Mary’s University

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Funmi Olutoye on 020 7084 2713

 

 

Thursday 24 January 2019

Draft Consolidated Budget

Plenary – 10.00am in The Chamber 

 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will present his £16 billion Final Draft Budget for 2019/20 to London Assembly Members.

 

The Final Draft Budget includes the following component budgets: 

 

  • Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (including the Metropolitan Police Service budget)
  • Transport for London
  • London Fire Commission
  • London Legacy Development Corporation
  • Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
  • Mayor of London
  • London Assembly

 

After questioning the Mayor, the Assembly will consider the budget and approve it, with or without amendment.  Amendments are subject to securing the support of a simple majority of the Assembly Members present and voting.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228

 

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: News from Joanne McCartney: Assembly Member stands up for EU Citizens

Source: London Assembly

During Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall yesterday, local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM questioned the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, on whether the Government’s current stance on Brexit protects London and Londoners.

 

Ms McCartney highlighted concerns from residents that the current EU Citizens Settled Status pilot requires documentary evidence, which is not always readily obtainable. She also highlighted that local authority cuts will make it difficult for them to assist as they would like.

 

In his response, Mayor Khan stated that he is lobbying the Government to ensure that the process is as easy as possible, so the one million EU Citizens in London can carry on as normal.

 

Labour London Assembly Member for Enfield & Haringey, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

 

“I welcome the comments made by the Mayor yesterday. It will help reassure EU Londoners that their concerns and voices are being heard and that the Mayor is on their side throughout the Brexit process.”

 

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: London Assembly restates call for People’s Vote

Source: London Assembly

The House of Commons has rejected the Government’s deal on the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU after a meaningful vote.

 

Last year, the London Assembly agreed a motion which supported a People’s Vote if the deal was rejected by Parliament, or there is no deal.

 

Today, the Assembly restated its call for a People’s Vote and supported the Mayor’s call to withdraw Article 50.

 

 

Len Duvall AM, who proposed the amended motion said:

 

“The Government’s withdrawal deal was rejected decisively in the worst defeat the Commons has seen in a century.

 

“Neither side of the Brexit coin is happy with Theresa May’s deal and parliament is deadlocked. There are a number of votes next week – but if they fail to produce a solution, we need to go back to the British people for a final answer and a clear indication of what they want.

 

“The options left are to withdraw Article 50, a People’s Vote or a general election – the welfare of London’s economy, workers and future are at stake”.

 

 

The full text of the motion is:

 

The Assembly notes the answers to the questions asked.

 

This Assembly notes in particular the discussion around the UK’s exit from the EU, following Parliament’s comprehensive rejection of the Prime Minister’s proposed deal.

 

Because of our growing concern about the impact of a no deal Brexit to London’s communities and economy, we support the Mayor’s call to withdraw Article 50 and restate our demand for a People’s Vote or a general election.

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: News from Joanne McCartney: £38 million funding pot up for grabs for community-led housing schemes

Source: London Assembly

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, is calling upon community groups to bid for a share of a new £38 million community-led housing fund, launched by City Hall on Wednesday (16th January). Ms McCartney has praised the scheme and said that it “will put local people at the centre of tackling our housing crisis”.

 

Over the next four years, the London Community Housing Fund is set to deliver 500 community-led, genuinely affordable and social-rented homes across the capital.

 

The funding pot will be shared amongst successful projects to enable local residents to have direct involvement and oversight in the building and delivery of new homes, through co-operatives and community land trusts.

 

The new fund is one of the measures being taken by City Hall to kickstart the building of 116,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2022.

 

However, City Hall modelling shows that the Greater London Authority (GLA) still requires an injection of an additional £1.8bn more funding per year from the Government to meet the full-scale of the demand for affordable homes in the capital.

 

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

 

“Though a small part of London’s overall housing mix, with the right support, community-led housing schemes can play an important role in delivering the genuinely affordable homes we need.  

“I am delighted that this new funding will put local people at the centre of tackling our housing crisis, and I would urge as many community groups as possible to get their bids in.

 

“Despite the wide range of measures being taken by City Hall, there is a substantial funding deficit that the Government needs to urgently fill if we are to meet the full scale of the demand for homes in London”.

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: News from Andrew Dismore: £38 million funding pot up for grabs for community-led housing schemes

Source: London Assembly

Andrew Dismore, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, is calling upon community groups to bid for a share of a new £38 million community-led housing fund, launched by City Hall on Wednesday (16th January). Mr Dismore has praised the scheme and said that it “will put local people at the centre of tackling our housing crisis”.

 

Over the next four years, the London Community Housing Fund is set to deliver 500 community-led, genuinely affordable and social-rented homes across the capital.

 

The funding pot will be shared amongst successful projects to enable local residents to have direct involvement and oversight in the building and delivery of new homes, through co-operatives and community land trusts.

 

The new fund is one of the measures being taken by City Hall to kickstart the building of 116,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2022.

 

However, City Hall modelling shows that the Greater London Authority (GLA) still requires an injection of an additional £1.8bn more funding per year from the Government to meet the full-scale of the demand for affordable homes in the capital.

 

Mr Dismore, said:

 

“Though a small part of London’s overall housing mix, with the right support, community-led housing schemes can play an important role in delivering the genuinely affordable homes we need.

 

“I am delighted that this new funding will put local people at the centre of tackling our housing crisis, and I would urge as many community groups as possible to get their bids in.

 

“Despite the wide range of measures being taken by City Hall, there is a substantial funding deficit that the Government needs to urgently fill if we are to meet the full scale of the demand for homes in London”.

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: First MQT of the year – tomorrow at City Hall

Source: London Assembly

London Assembly Members will question the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan during MQT at City Hall tomorrow.  The first MQT of 2019 will feature topics including:
 

  • Street racing
  • Brexit
  • ‘First dibs’ for Londoners in the housing market
  • Meaningful vote implications for London
     

The London Assembly acts as a check and balance on the activities of the Mayor

 

The meeting will take place on Thursday, 17 January from 10:00am in The Chamber at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend – numbers may be limited.

The meeting can also be viewed LIVE or later via webcast or YouTube

 

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the meeting discussion using #MQT

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: News from Unmesh Desai: Assembly Member backs Woodgrange Park to receive step-free funding

Source: London Assembly

Local London Assembly Member backs Woodgrange Park station

to receive step-free funding

 

 

Local London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai AM, has backed Woodgrange Park station to secure vital Government funding to improve accessibility and step-free access, echoing recommendations made by the Mayor of London.

 

Last year, the Government published its Inclusive Transport Strategy and, as part of this, allocated an extra £300 million for its Access for All programme. The funding will be made available for step-free access improvements at selected railway stations across the UK between 2019 and 2024.

 

 

Unmesh Desai AM is calling upon the Government to provide a portion of this investment for Woodgrange Park, which could go towards the installation of lifts, new ramps and footbridges and accessible ticket gates and toilets.

 

In a letter to the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, published in November 2018, the Mayor of London featured Woodgrange Park in a priority list of which stations should receive the Access for All Funding.

 

It has been confirmed that the list of successful nominated stations will be announced in April 2019.

 

As part of a separate scheme, the Mayor of London has also invested an additional £200m to ensure that 40% of the tube network will be made step-free by 2022.

 

Local London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai AM, said:

 

We need to do everything possible to ensure local residents with disabilities and mobility issues can access transport links across the capital.

 

“We have seen the current Mayor significantly boost investment in step-free access across the tube, but there are still glaring gaps to be filled along the underground and rail networks, such as at Woodgrange Park.

 

“Improving accessibility here would make a huge difference to the lives of local people, vastly improving what is usually a complicated and stressful experience for people with disabilities, the elderly, and parents with pushchairs when navigating London’s transport system.

 

“This is why I urge the Government to take the Mayor’s recommendations on board and allocate a share of the Access for All funding to Woodgrange Park.

 

ENDS

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Cutting through the fog of toxic air pollution

Source: London Assembly

A shocking new report has revealed that the concentration of airborne particles in some Tube stations is up to 30 times higher than busy roads.

Tube dust forms only one piece in a toxic mosaic of air pollution hazards across the capital – some exceeding legal limits but all combining to create a major health challenge.

Particulates come from a variety of sources, some of them unexpected.  Even zero-emission cars contribute through tyre wear. Wood burners, barbecues, dust from construction sites – even dust from the Sahara – all contribute to a foul airborne stew that impacts heavily on Londoners’ wellbeing.

The London Assembly Environment Committee will tomorrow examine air pollution in London, with a focus on toxic airborne particles, and discuss the Mayor’s work to reduce pollution, including the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

The following guests will attend:

  • Elliot Treharne, Head of Air Quality, GLA
  • Stephen Inch, Senior Policy and Programme Officer (Air Quality), GLA
  • Professor Martin Williams, Professor in Air Quality Research, King’s College London

The meeting will take place on Wednesday 16 December at 10.00am in Committee Room 5, at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend.

The meeting can also be viewed via webcast or on our YouTube channel.

Follow us @LondonAssembly and tweet about the meeting using #AssemblyEnvironment and #AirPollution

MIL-OSI UK News