Housing demo, London, 13.3.16, photo James Ivens

Housing demo, London, 13.3.16, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

In a humiliating and massive u-turn, the Tory government has dropped plans to introduce ‘pay to stay’ as part of its Housing Act.

This tenant tax would have seen council and housing association tenants on household incomes of over £40,000 in London, and £31,000 elsewhere, face a 15% rent hike. With continuing mass opposition, the Act is in deep trouble.

The Housing Act cannot yet be enforced, because secondary legislation is still not in place.

The Tories were first forced to exclude housing co-ops entirely from the act. Now the entire cruel policy – which ends permanent tenancies and sells off hundreds of thousands of social rented homes – can be defeated, by tenants, trade unionists and housing campaigners standing united in strong opposition.

Niall Mulholland, London Co-op Housing Group (personal capacity)