by Steve Beasant on 30 November, 2015
I made it clear over the summer and in my conference speech that housing and homelessness would be a top priority for me as leader. I said we would oppose the Right to Buy extension to Housing Associations and fight the Government tooth and nail in the Lords.
The fight is now well underway. I have been speaking in Parliament and will continue to lead our campaign in the House of Commons. After Christmas the legislation will be debated in the Lords, where our Lib Dem team will aim to cause the Government serious problems – which they have shown us in the last few weeks that they can do!
I’ve also been challenging housing associations that have backed the ‘voluntary deal’ to extend Right to Buy, which is now being used as a shield by the Government to defend its plans to sell off council homes. I wrote a letter to David Orr, the Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, and will meet him soon to discuss this further. Not all housing associations back the plans, especially small and rural ones, and it is not too late for the NHF to change its mind.
Many members have told me that they share my concern about the lack of decent, affordable housing. The current plans affect both those who are on the waiting list for a home, desperate for a secure place to bring up their children, and also those who are worried that their children or grandchildren may never be able to afford a home of their own.
We need to continue to work together to oppose the extension of Right to Buy and the sell off of council homes to fund it. You can sign and share our online petition. The Government has its priorities wrong when it comes to housing, and this all-out assault on social and affordable homes must be stopped.
Tim Farron is Leader of the Liberal Democrats, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale and a former President of the Liberal Democrats.Leave a comment