Open letter of opposition to the Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16

We the undersigned demand that the Prime Minister reconsider his commitment to the Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16. As the Prime Minister is aware, the Bill will fundamentally change the housing landscape of the UK. While this is clearly the intention, as academics involved in housing, planning and urban policy, we believe the proposals will do little or nothing to allieviate the housing crisis, while likely exacerbating it. Amongst our greatest concerns are plans to: · Significantly reduce the number of genuinely affordable homes which, while providing 'Starter Homes' to a select few, will leave a great many more worse off. · Require councils to subsidise Housing Associations Right to Buy discounts, with no guarantee of replacement homes at similar rents in the same area. · Introduce means testing and ‘Pay to Stay’ deals if household income reaches above £30,000 (£40,000 in London), radically undermining the stability of mixed communities and disinsentivising work. · Discriminate against Gypsies and Travellers by reducing potential housing sites. · Abolish lifetime tenancies, ensuring that council tenants will not be able to plan their lives any further than five years into the future. Decades of rigorous study into housing provision around the world suggests that these proposals will, fuel rising housing costs, diminish local government resources, fatally undermine alternatives to market based housing provision and ultimately increase the displacement of vulnerable communities and elevate eviction rates. This is not a solution to a housing crisis, but instead an accelerant that, in the process of changing the housing landscape, will devastate communities and families across the country. Signatories Dr Alex Rhys-Taylor – Goldsmiths, University of London Dr Isaac Marrero Guillamon – Goldsmiths, University of London Dr Emma Jackson – Goldsmiths University of London Prof Les Back – Goldsmiths University of London Dr David Madden – London School of Economics Prof Caroline Knowles – Goldsmiths, University of London Dr Anamik Saha – Goldsmiths, University of London Dr Michaela Benson – Goldsmiths, University of London Prof Roger Burrows – University of Newcastle Dr William Davies – Goldsmiths University of London

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