I am writing in response to your banner front page headline over Right to Buy (4th June 2015) and to share the concerns and fears of Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council.
The fact that this government has decided to extend the ‘right to buy’ is part of an ideology, rather than a concerned government accepting that for a decent society everyone needs a decent affordable home. That is to say, affordable to people in most need, set at the levels of municipal rents and not at 80% or even 60% of inflated rents on offer from greedy private landlords and some Housing Associations.
We believe that it is time the Council stood shoulder to shoulder with us to fend off the worst effects of this policy which means that the subsidised sales to Housing Association tenants will be paid for by the sale of council homes.
Cllr John says that this will have the greatest impact in the north of the borough. We believe it will affect the entire borough and we believe it will create a super-rich ghetto in the centre of London. We council tenants stand in treble jeopardy; the effects of house sales under RTB sales, the proposed RTB sales of Housing Association properties, and the policy of councils all over London, including Southwark, from developments like the Aylesbury and Heygate estates which this Council has enthusiastically supported.
Whilst Councillor Peter John expresses his concerns, he gives very little indication about what he is going to do about it. So I say once again it is time Cllr John and his Labour colleagues joined with us to protect our homes; unless he wants Southwark to be the domain of the super-rich who will soon be living in the former council estate called the Heygate and large parts of the Aylesbury.
Cris Claridge, Chair of Southwark Group of Tenants’ Organisations