Quakers in Britain says the Housing and Planning Bill, which is currently in the House of Lords, is a missed opportunity for the government to reduce inequality in the housing system. Instead it will increase inequality between those who are home-owners and those who are not.
At the Quakers Yearly Meeting in 2015, there was strong opposition to the proposal to extend the ‘right to buy’ legislation to housing associations. This issue was also raised in submissions sent by Quakers in Britain to the House of Commons and to the House of Lords.
The submissions stated ‘We are deeply concerned that the Bill does not include an explicit commitment to replace social housing sold under right to buy. We ask for a commitment for like-for-like replacements to social housing lost through right to buy.’
Quakers supported an amendment in the House of Commons to Clause 56 (which in the bill before the House of Lords has become Clause 62) which would have required ‘housing associations offering the right to buy to their tenants to re-invest all the money received as a result of the sale in replacement local affordable housing, including a guaranteed like-for-like home in the same area’.
London Quakers are holding a day conference to discuss the housing crisis. ‘Housing inequality – What cast thou do?’ on Saturday 20 February 2016, Friends House, London is open for all to attend. The keynote speaker will be Robert (Bob) Kerslake, member of the House of Lords and former Head of the Home Civil Service and Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government.