Tuesday, September 29, 2015

News from UNISON Housing Associations Branch #Lab15

NEWS FROM UNISON HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS BRANCH

Think again: Don't Sell Off our Homes 
For immediate release – 29 September 2015

UNISON Housing Associations Branch is warning that the Housing Fringe at the Labour Party conference last night showed that a number of the major Housing Association players are about to buckle to Government threats and sign up to a "voluntary" agreement to Right to Buy and let hard pressed Councils pick up the tab.

"This is going to be a disaster for the social housing movement. Not only will this result in hundreds of thousands fewer homes but this will destroy the relationship between Housing Associations and many local authorities and take us back decades". Said John Gray, Branch Secretary UNISON Housing Association Branch.

Housing chiefs last night admitted that that it was possible that mandatory right to buy could be defeated in the House of Commons never mind the House of Lords.  

The argument that a voluntary agreement was better than a mandatory one was described as "nonsense" by a Council leader present.

"Right to buy amidst a housing crisis paid by stealing money and homes from councils is immoral. The sector should be ashamed of themselves. They are protecting their pay and privileges at the expense of their tenants and my residents".

"If this goes ahead this will set back the relationship with Councils and Housing Associations back to the 1980s. How can Councils work with and trust Housing Associations again if they are stabbed in the back" 

The meeting last night pointed out that this about-turn by the sector was only weeks after the Government attacked the high salaries of Housing Association Executives. 

The Government was under pressure over mandatory right to buy because if it happens they faced the prospect of housing association debt being reclassified as being pubic sector which would worsen the national deficit. 

Housing Associations that take part in this agreement face partnership arrangements between them and councils being ripped up. 

Even Conservative Councils who are facing the decimation of their social housing stock to pay for this are opposed.

For more information please contact John Gray.

(Picture of Shadow Cabinet Minister for Housing John Healey announcing today that Labour opposes the Government stitch up on Right to Buy)  
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