Assembly Member tells Barwell to ‘get a grip’ over housing

As Tory housing minister Gavin Barwell lamely tweeted this morning that the government housing White Paper he is introducing today “is not a silver bullet”, Labour’s housing spokesman at the London Assembly was telling the Croydon Central MP to “get a grip” on the capital’s housing crisis.

Gavin Barwell: has he done the decent thing? Or been told to do so?

Get a grip: housing minister Gavin Barwell MP

“What we have here is evidence the government hasn’t got to grips with the realities of the housing crisis,” Tom Copley AM said, having seen some of the detail of the White Paper.

Copley is clearly unimpressed with the lacklustre measures proposed by the Nimby housing minister’s department.

“More than anything we need an upsurge in truly affordable housing, but unless government is willing to lift the cap on councils’ borrowing, this will be difficult to achieve. While a first glance suggests this White Paper will probably have limited impact on London, the spectre of the forced sale of council homes in the capital to pay for Right-to-Buy discounts still hangs over us.

“The government has indicated that they have finally woken up to the need to look beyond home ownership, with the shift in focus on to Build-to-Rent. But this is to attract institutional investors – and whilst the promise of longer tenancies is welcome, its bearing will be miniscule unless it is extended to existing rental properties, where the vast majority of renters actually live.

Tom Copley: rising rents need to be capped

Unimpressed: Tom Copley

“With the government insisting on clinging steadfastly to its definition of affordable rent as 80 per cent of market prices, any positive step it takes towards making life better for renters will be undermined. The government should instead follow Sadiq Khan’s lead by tying ‘intermediate rent’ to income, as the Mayor has done through his new London Living Rent.

“The ban on letting agents fees could significantly benefit renters, but it must be a blanket ban with no loopholes that greedy agents can exploit,” Copley said.


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Croydon Central, Environment, Gavin Barwell MP, Housing, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Planning, Sadiq Khan, Tom Copley and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Assembly Member tells Barwell to ‘get a grip’ over housing

  1. shyn43 says:

    Telling Mr Barwell to ‘get a grip’ is comparable to talking to a person who is hard of hearing.

    But the difference is Mr Barwell already knows that he needs to get a grip, but ‘getting a firm grip’ means ‘putting money where his mouth is’ and MPs tend to avoid doing that, which of course is why there is a crisis with housing, because MPs tend to give mere lip service when it comes to housing.

    I think it is reasonable to suggest that this white paper business is nothing other than a opportunity for Mr Barwell to do what MPs are good at, which is saying much and doing little.

    I just can’t take this man seriously…then again I feel the same about every politician/MP.

    But my scepticism is based on experience of living on the rule of MPs who really aren’t fit to govern and the longer they continue wreaking havoc in the name of democracy the more my scepticism towards them grows.

    Liked by 1 person

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