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Housing: Long-Term Plan

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Conservative, South Suffolk 6:30 pm, 9th February 2016

This is very simple. My hon. Friend is an expert on decanting, I think, and the answer to his question is that we decant them. That is the technical term. I am sure that this will be interesting to him, and I am sure that I know what he keeps in his decanter. It is probably the same nationality as his wife. The process is difficult however, because we do have to decant those people. One solution, which we saw at Woodberry Down, is to build the new housing and decant the people in stages. We saw another solution at the Elephant and Castle, which was difficult but there was no alternative. It was to allow the estate to run down and become empty over time. That is the toughest part of the process.

The details of regeneration are incredibly difficult, as my hon. Friend the Housing Minister will know. However, the aim—which is the same as that of our policy on buy to let—is a one-nation Conservative housing policy that is about revitalising our worst estates and extending opportunities to first-time buyers, and if that hits some of those buy-to-let landlords, all I can say is that I wish them good luck in court but I believe we need a housing policy that is on the side of those who aspire to own their own home.