Katie Perrior has rubbished a Labour MP’s idea to ‘nationalise’ housing by selling homes back to councils, saying it’s a “big chunk of what the Labour Party stand for”.
After it was reported in the Sun that a Labour MP urged councils to buy back homes sold under the Conservative Right to Buy scheme as well as being given ‘first refusal’ on private homes on the market, Perrior said: “I just despair”.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton and Kemptown, reportedly told a rally in London that the Labour party would look to buying back homes.
“Let’s not just talk about council houses - let’s get those bloody private houses back into our hands,” he reportedly said.
“We need to develop a system that slowly, over time, takes property out of private hands and puts it into public hands.
“For example, why not give every council the first right of refusal with any houses put up for sale? And I don’t mean a former council house - I mean your private house.”
'Is this really what we're faced with?'
Lloyd Russell-Moyle. Image: Flickr
“There are some very sound Labour MPs out there, like Jess Phillips for example, brilliant MP,” said Perrior.
“You can’t tar them all with the same brush. Is this really what we’re faced with? I bust a gut all my life to pay for my mortgage, make sure we have a roof over our head to call our own, and when I go to sell it, either to downsize or to want something bigger or different, I have to phone the council and say, I’d like to give you first offer on my house!”
Mike Graham added that he didn’t want his council to “spend taxpayers’ money” on buying private houses.
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“As far as I’m concerned, my council should not be spending my money on your house!” he said.
“Somebody else can buy your house and you can get the money, but I don’t want my taxpayers’ money spent on buying private property in order to lease it to somebody because they need a house.”
Perrior challenged him on what he thought was the best way to deal with the housing crisis, to which he said: “How about building some?”
“I envisage people using the council’s offer to push prices up for the private people who want to buy it, and saying ‘we’ve had this offer from the council so you’ll have to top that’,” he added.
'Not Labour policy'
The Labour party played down Russell-Moyle’s comments, saying: “This is not Labour policy. Labour will end the housing crisis by building 100,000 genuinely affordable homes a year, introducing controls on rents, longer tenancies and improved renters’ rights and taking action to end rough sleeping.”
Data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows that there are 2 million fewer social housing properties than there were in 1994, and during 2016-2017 social housing landlords made 7% fewer lettings than the previous year.
Over the 2017-2018 period, 17,159 homes for Affordable Rent commenced building, a decrease of 22% from the previous year.