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: Mayor and Assembly host Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

Source: Mayor of London

Victims of the Holocaust were remembered today as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Members of the London Assembly joined with Jewish faith leaders and a Holocaust survivor for a moving ceremony in honour of Holocaust Memorial Day.

 

Guests at City Hall were invited to consider the devastating and far-reaching consequences of individuals, families and communities being wrenched from their homes through persecution, as they reflected on this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme ‘Torn from Home’.

 

In keeping with the theme, the Mayor read the poem ‘Homesick’, where an anonymous author laments their loss of place by asking “Why did they tear me away?”.

 

Tony Arbour AM, Chairman of the London Assembly, led the service and Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism and Rabbi of New North London Synagogue, provided the main address.

 

Guests heard poignant personal accounts from Holocaust survivor Susan Pollack MBE, as well as an emotional contribution from Sokphal Din, who survived the genocide in Cambodia in the late 1970s.

 

The ceremony also featured schoolchildren from across London who read the Holocaust Memorial Day Statement of Commitment and presented their experiences from the Lessons from Auschwitz project, delivered by the Holocaust Educational Trust. Carol Isaacs and Meg Hamilton of the Jewish Music Institute performed three instrumental pieces including ‘Doina’ and ‘Boybriker Nign’. 

 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “No matter what is happening in the world, on Holocaust Memorial Day it is crucial we take the time to stop and listen to the accounts of Jewish survivors and refugees who witnessed unthinkable horrors during the Holocaust.

 

“Every year there are fewer people left alive to tell us what they endured during this dark period of history. That is why the work of The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and the Holocaust Educational Trust in our schools and communities remains so utterly vital.

 

“Today, as we take time to remember six million stolen Jewish lives, as well as the millions killed in genocides around the world, we, as Londoners, must reinforce our commitment to opposing hatred and intolerance in all their forms, wherever they appear.”

 

Chairman of the London Assembly, Tony Arbour, said: “When people, families and communities are wrenched from their homes through persecution or the threat of genocide – lives are destroyed.

 

“This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme is ‘Torn from Home’ and as we remember the Holocaust, the 40th anniversary of the end of the Genocide in Cambodia and the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda, we must stop and think. 

 

“How can we ensure such atrocities will never happen again? It’s a question we all need to answer – because they must absolutely never happen again.

 

“Having to find a new a new home and a new life is hard enough – it should never have to be because of persecution and genocide.

 

“We stand in solidarity with all those who have suffered and pledge to take action to ensure these tragedies are not repeated.”

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “As people come together across the UK to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2019, we are pleased to see the Mayor of London and the London Assembly making a strong commitment to remembering all those murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

“The event at City Hall will be one of more than 11,000 taking place across the country – in schools, workplaces, local authorities, libraries and many more varied settings.

“At the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust we are pleased to see people learning lessons from genocide, for a better future – particularly at a time when rising antisemitism, anti-Muslim hate and other forms of prejudice are causing real damage across society.”

 

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive, Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “Today, we came together to remember the Holocaust – the darkest chapter in our shared history, where six million men, women and children were murdered, simply for being Jewish.

 

“In many ways, Susan’s story personifies the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day, ‘Torn from Home’, having experienced vast swathes of antisemitism in her home town before being forcibly deported to ghettos and concentration camps. We must treasure this precious testimony, remember the victims, and become witnesses to the stories of survivors.”

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: Lords debates Brexit and the Union

Source: British House Of Lords News

16 January 2019
Members of the Lords, including a constitutional advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland and an advisory council member of national debate forum These Islands, will debate the possible effects of Brexit on the stability of the Union of the parts of the United Kingdom, in the House of Lords on Thursday 17 January.

This is a general debate. They normally take place on a Thursday in the chamber. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
The debate was proposed by Lord Lisvane (Crossbench), former chief executive of the House of Commons.
Members expected to take part include:
Lord Empey (Ulster Unionist Party), former Lord Mayor of Belfast and member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town (Labour), Lords opposition spokesperson for exiting the EU and constitutional affairs
Lord Hay of Ballyore (Democratic Unionist Party), president of the Northern Ireland Assembly branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Lord McInnes of Kilwinning (Conservative), constitutional advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland
Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve (Crossbench), member of the advisory council for national debate forum These Islands
Lord Thomas of Gresford (Liberal Democrat), former Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Welsh Affairs
Lord Wigley (Plaid Cymru), former leader of the opposition in the National Assembly for Wales
Lord Young of Cookham (Conservative), Lords spokesperson in the Cabinet Office, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Mayor launches £38m fund to deliver community-led housing

Source: Mayor of London

 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today launched a new £38m fund for community-led housing, enabling Londoners to play a leading role in building new social rented and other genuinely affordable homes for local people.

The number of small builders nationally who deliver fewer than 100 homes has halved over the last 10 years*, and the Mayor believes that this trend needs to change in order to help tackle the capital’s housing crisis. Community-led housing allows local residents to get directly involved in building and managing new homes themselves, often through co-operatives and community land trusts.

The new London Community Housing Fund is expected to unlock 500 community-led homes by 2023 and will make grants or loans available to support building, development, and delivery. Some of the funding will also be allocated to provide financial help for potential costs such as submitting planning applications or design fees.

The fund opens today for bids, alongside a new prospectus published online by City Hall providing guidance for community groups who wish to bid, and advice for Londoners who wish to form such a group. Communities wishing to develop their own homes can also contact the London Community-Led Housing Hub, for information and advice, funding, and technical support.

The Mayor is already making small plots of publicly-owned land more accessible to London’s small and medium-sized builders – including community-led housing groups – through a simplified bidding process with standardised legal contracts. The new fund, won from central Government as a result of Sadiq’s lobbying, is significant progress towards his target of identifying a pipeline of schemes for 1,000 community-led homes in London by 2021.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “In London we have become far too reliant on large developers to build new housing. We need more homes to be built by councils and by communities themselves – and so I want to support more community-led housing projects that put London residents at the heart of the process. We have listened to what community-led housing groups say they need, and in response this new fund offers practical support and help with development costs that have often held community-led projects back. I urge Londoners interested in developing their own homes to read our new guidance and bid for funding.”

 

Mother Joyce, community-led housing campaigner with London Citizens’ said: ‘Me and my neighbours are working hard to deliver community land trust homes in my neighbourhood in Croydon. We think it’s fantastic that the Mayor is supporting groups like ours that want to do our bit to build the genuinely and permanently affordable homes that Londoners need. This funding will make a big difference.’

The new fund builds on the Mayor’s previous support for the community-led housing sector, including funding the London Community Led Housing Hub last year with CDS Co-operatives, nine boroughs and the City of London, and the allocation of two small Transport for London small sites in Tower Hamlets and Lambeth to London Community Land Trust. In October he gave almost £1m grant funding to the Rural Urban Synthesis Society, a Lewisham-based Community Land Trust, to help it deliver 33 social rented and other genuinely affordable homes for local residents and workers.

Linda Wallace, Chief Executive of CDS Co-operatives said: “This new fund is the most significant investment in community led housing in a generation. CDS is delighted to be working in partnership with the Mayor to host the CLH London Hub and to enable innovative and sustainable schemes led by London residents. By investing in flexible and high quality early stage support for groups, local authorities, landowners and smaller developers – including London’s smaller housing associations – alongside capital grants, we believe the Mayor’s fund will make a lasting difference to the diversity and quality of affordable homes in our city.”

Levent Kerimol, Director of the London Community Led Housing Hub, said: “The Mayor’s support is vital to the many community-led housing projects gearing up to create more successful developments across London. We’re excited to be working with the GLA to help empower communities and residents and make community-led housing a consistent part of a diverse London housing market. We’re focused on building capacity at the early stages and helping create opportunities for CLH to achieve this.”

ENDS

*2017 Home Builders Federation report: “Reversing the decline of small housebuilders: Reinvigorating entrepreneurialism and building more homes” https://www.hbf.co.uk/documents/6879/HBF_SME_Report_2017_Web.pdf

ENDS

 

MIL-OSI UK News