Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith urged to oppose ‘devastating’ Housing Bill



Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore AM has called on the Mayor of London and the Conservative candidate for Mayor to oppose the Government’s Housing Bill when it returns to Parliament. The challenge comes after new analysis found that the Bill could force London councils to sell off as many as 10,500 affordable homes every year with most of the money being used to fund new homes in other parts of the country.


Provisions set out in the Housing and Planning Bill, which was published earlier this month, include plans to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants. The scheme would be funded by forcing councils to sell ‘higher value’ housing, with evidence from the Greater London Authority (GLA) suggesting that as many as 10,500 affordable homes in the capital could be sold each year as a result. The money made from selling these homes will go to central Government, not local councils, meaning much of the money raised in the capital could be spent elsewhere given London’s greater number of ‘high value’ homes.


In May, Mayor Boris Johnson set out four conditions which needed to be met if the policy was to work in the capital:


    • The money raised from council housing sales in London must be spent in London
    • The policy must preserve London’s mixed communities
    • It must deliver more housing overall
    • It must deliver more affordable housing overall


However, the Government’s decision not to include measures which would ensure sums raised in London are retained in the capital means that the current plans fall well short of the Mayor’s ‘red lines’. Mr Dismore also highlighted that no provision is included in the Bill to guarantee the delivery of more housing and additional affordable housing, whilst concerns abound that the failure to replace social housing in equal numbers will erode London’s traditional mixed communities.


Labour London Assembly Member for Andrew Dismore AM, said:


“We’re left in no doubt that the Conservative Government’s policy to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants will come at a severe cost to Londoners, with thousands of genuinely affordable homes to be lost in London each year if the Housing Bill becomes law.


“Forcing London councils to sell off their housing stock and then using that money to fund new homes elsewhere in the country will devastate the capital and make the housing crisis we face far worse.


“With it now abundantly clear that even the Mayor’s limited conditions will not be met, it’s time for Boris Johnson MP and Zac Goldsmith MP to oppose the Housing Bill when it next comes before Parliament. If they do not do so they will be betraying Londoners, who rightly expect their Mayor to stand up for this city. What exactly is a red line worth to Boris Johnson if he’s willing to cross it?”






  • Greater London Authority evidence that as many as 10,500 affordable housing units could be sold each year (3,000-4,500 council homes and 2,000-6,000 Housing Association homes) was discussed at the London Assembly’s Housing Committee on 16th July 2015. Transcripts of the meeting can be found here.
  • Boris Johnson set out his four conditions during Mayor’s Question Time on 21st May 2015. A transcript of the meeting can be found here.
  • The Housing and Planning Bill can be viewed here.