David Cameron has been forced into a string of embarrassing U-turns over his “half-baked” Housing Bill.
Campaigners claimed victory as his flagship vows to launch Starter Homes and extend the Right to Buy took a battering in Parliament.
The Prime Minister wants to force councils to sell their most valuable homes and use the cash to give housing association tenants the Right to Buy.
He also wants to replace affordable housing with Starter Homes costing up to £250,000 – or £450,000 in London.
But peers in the House of Lords warned the “devastating” schemes would rob councils to feed government and could see social housing “wiped out utterly”.
Ministers offered a long list of compromises to prevent a stand-off between the Commons and the Lords:
- Sold-off council homes will now have to be replaced one-for-one – a move which was in the Tory manifesto but not the law.
- Councils will no longer be forced to sell valuable homes if they are in national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty.
- It will be harder for landlords to evict vulnerable people they think have abandoned their homes.
- Councils could have more control over which homes they sell after the definition changed from “high value” to “higher value”.
The climbdowns come days after the Tories were defeated over plans to let Starter Home buyers trouser £100,000 of taxpayer cash after just five years.
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