£7.2m worth of former social housing will be sold off at an auction in London on 26 March. Almost 1 in 10 of the lots in the Savills auction at the “swanky” Marriott Hotel are properties owned by councils or housing associations.
Former social housing for sale in the auction includes: two flats in Camberwell at a guide price of £865k owned by Notting Hill Housing; a £325k flat owned by Greenwich Council; and a £690k house owned by Wandsworth Council.
Few replacements are being built for social properties which are sold off. As of June 2017, the number of government-funded social homes being built had decreased by 97% since 2010. The Conservative government has prioritised the building of ‘affordable’ homes – which can be rented out at up to 80% of market value – over providing new social housing.
Right to buy
Social housing stocks are being further reduced by a huge increase in houses sold off under the right-to-buy scheme. Since the government relaunched the scheme in 2012, the number of council properties sold has quadrupled. Only around a fifth of the homes sold have been replaced. The government has paid £3.5bn in discounts to right-to-buy homebuyers since 2011/12, with the average buyer receiving over a £60,000 discount.
A recent study by Inside Housing found that 40% [paywall] of homes bought under the right-to-buy scheme are now being rented out privately. Potential landlords can find ex-council homes on a dedicated website. It currently shows 339 properties for sale in London.
Protest at the auction
We are protesting at the auction tomorrow because it is morally wrong that homes at social rent are being sold off to the private sector when so many people are homeless in London. We are concerned and angry about the housing associations that are doing this, and at Savills as government advisers who are facilitating it.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Labour MP for Westminster Karen Buck opposes the selling-off of social homes, which affects many of her constituents. She says:
It sticks in my throat to see social housing sold off in a swanky hotel.
Labour has a policy to suspend the right-to-buy scheme and end the current ban on long-term council tenancies. The Chartered Institute of Housing has estimated that 370,000 social homes could be lost by 2020 if the current housing policy continues.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
– Read and support other independent media outlets:
Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Red Pepper, New Internationalist, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia, Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine, The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, The Skwawkbox, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via Lydia/Flickr
Do your bit for independent journalism
Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.
We need you to help out, if you can.
When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.
You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.
In return you get:
- Advert free reading experience
- Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
- 20% discount from our shop