Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 9th September 2015.
I am sure that the Minister will comment later, but the sale of valuable houses might provide councils with the opportunity to use the proceeds to build two or three new social housing units. For example, I used to be a councillor in Camden and some of its housing stock, such as some units in Bloomsbury, was worth well in excess of £1 million—one of those units was occupied by the hon. Gentleman’s former colleague, Mr Dobson. Were such a unit to be sold, we could have built two or three council or social housing units elsewhere in Camden or London. There is some merit in that.
On the rent reductions, making housing more affordable clearly means making rents cheaper, which will help housing association and council tenants to pay lower rents. There are opportunities to force efficiency savings in those organisations. Most branches of government—local authorities, the police, every Department—have made savings over the past four or five years, quite rightly, and it is fair to ask other organisations to make savings and pass those on to their tenants.