Published: 10 August, 2012
• I WAS pleased to read the thoughtful letter from Councillor Raphael Andrews (Why it’s time to scrap the failed right-to-buy scheme, August 3).
I particularly noted his statement that the right-to-buy scheme “enabled people to cheat councils by claiming to be homeless”.
People have come along to Finsbury and Islington claiming to be homeless. First, they get housed by Islington Council.
After they have been tenants for a certain amount of time, they are eligible to buy their homes under right-to-buy.
Readers may recall two middle-class chaps who did this and acquired separate flats.
One chap then moved in with the other and let his own flat for a commercial rent.
Over the years, Islingtonians and Finsburians, in particular, have seen the council encouraging middle-class housing developments on sites which were once working-class housing, workplaces, schools and hospitals.
Central Square, for example, is going up on the former Bartholomew Buildings’ Seward Street site, which provided homes for 364 working-class households.
However, Cllr Andrews makes the important revelation that the council has also allowed local people to be cheated out of actual council housing.
I was also interested to read the constructive suggestions by Richard Rosser (Poor making room for the rich, August 3) and Cllr Andrews. I fear, however, that they are unlikely to see the light of the day.
• A COUNCILLOR thinks right-to-buy should be scrapped and that some people fooled the council about being homeless to get council flats. Was that the Labour council or the Lib Dem council?
When right-to-buy was introduced the idea was to shrink the state.
This has advantages for all taxpayers. When a person exercises the right-to-buy, they go from tenant to leaseholder overnight.
They become liable for the upkeep of the building they live in, which can be very expensive, ask any leaseholder.
Hence this reduces your taxes.
What the councillor failed to point out was that the capital raised from right-to-buy was never ploughed back into the building of new council flats.
This was a New Labour policy which attacked the most vulnerable. Had the capital been ploughed into council housing or building hospitals, our society would be far better off.
Amwell Street, EC1