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West Ham MP sponsors bill to keep ex-social housing sales local

Thursday, February 7, 2013
9:42 AM

The MP for West Ham hopes to reform a housing market that “isn’t delivering for hard-working local people” by sponsoring a new bill through Parliament.

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Lyn Brown endorsed a bill in the House of Commons on Thursday put forward by fellow Labour MP Gareth Thomas proposing the sale of former social housing in urban areas should be restricted to people who live and work locally.

Under the original Right to Buy law, ‘local occupancy clauses’ were created to allow local authorities in the National Parks to limit sales of the ex-council run properties to people who have lived or worked in the area for three years.

The bill was presented under the Ten Minute Rule - where MPs talk to the Commons about why a particular bill should be adopted for that amount of time - with the intention of helping to reduce house prices, boosting co-operative housing schemes, and tackle the problem of land-banking by housing developers where land is deliberately left undeveloped while prices rise.

Ms Brown said: “It’s clear that the housing market isn’t delivering for hard-working local people with a modest income. “Families with children in school need security which is hard to come by in the local private rented sector.

“Our families and young people who live and have grown up in the area deserve to know that they have a real chance of one day being a home owner in the community of which they are a part.”

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