Carla Denyer appearing on BBC Politics Live

The Green Party’s co-leader Carla Denyer has branded the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme a “slum landlord’s charter”. She made the comments during an appearance on the BBC’s flagship political discussion show Politics Live. 

Discussing a recent Panorama documentary which looked at how former council houses are now being rented by private landlords at an extortionate rate, Denyer laid into the housing policy which has been in place since 1980.

In the discussion, Denyer said: “Refocusing on the question raised by that Panorama episode, I think it makes the point very clearly that Green politicians and much have the public have known for a long time, which is that Right to Buy is a slum landlord’s charter.

“A significant proportion of former council homes in London as the documentary showed are now private rented and often in very poor quality. And that’s why the Greens think that Right to Buy has to go.

“One of the many problems with Right to Buy is that it reduces the amount of social housing in this country. It’s much lower than it used to be. And partly that’s because councils do not receive enough funding to either build new or buy new council houses to make up for the ones that are sold off. It is reducing social housing by stealth by the Conservatives, and I’m actually quite disappointed to hear that Labour support it as well.”

Introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1980, the ‘Right to Buy’ policy gives residents in council housing the ability to buy their council house at a substantial discount. The number of people in social housing has fallen by 1.4 million since the Right to Buy was introduced and over 1 million people are currently on waiting lists. Since 1991, there has been a net loss of 24,000 social homes every year.

Over that period, the number of people living in homes in the private rented sector has increased dramatically. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of people living in privately rented homes increased by 1.7 million.

Both Scotland and Wales have abolished the Right to Buy scheme in recent years.

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