Monday, 05 December 2016

Labour MPs launch attack on housing associations

Labour MPs have criticised housing associations for becoming too large and unaccountable.

Speaking during a debate at the House of Commons yesterday (Thursday 5) John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington said: ‘Housing associations play a key role in providing social housing in my constituency, but they are not as they used to be.

‘I was involved in the development of the early housing associations, which were small and more like co-operatives.

‘They had specialist roles, particularly in relation to the elderly and people with disabilities. No one ever envisaged their becoming the large corporations that they are now. There has been merger after merger, and takeover after takeover. Many of the tenants cannot distinguish them from private landlords. Some of the management is extremely poor.’

Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, said he did not perceive any accountability in the majority of housing associations, while Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith, said large associations were corporations in all but name.

Mr Slaughter said: ‘The trouble is that, while they would like to think that they are out there wheeling and dealing in the business world, they are very poorly run and are doing a very poor job for our tenants. It is a disgrace.

‘They are worse than the Tory councils in many respects, because their actions are not politically motivated. These are people whose only job is to provide affordable housing for people, and they simply are not doing it. That is a scandal which should be exposed.’

Readers' comments (50)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up



  • MPs launch inquiry into new sources of housing supply

    26 July 2016

    A group of MPs has launched an inquiry into ways of encouraging smaller builders to enter the housing development market.

  • MPs launch social care inquiry

    7 June 2016

    MPs have launched an inquiry to scrutinise the financial stability and quality of adult social care.

  • MPs launch inquiry into Local Plans

    27 May 2016

    The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee of MPs has launched an inquiry into the process councils follow to form Local Plans.

  • MPs attack RTB funding plan

    10 February 2016

    An influential committee of MPs has slammed the government’s plan to fund the extension of the Right to Buy (RTB) through a levy on councils, saying it should be financed by central government directly.

  • MPs launch homelessness inquiry

    18 December 2015

    A select committee of MPs has announced an inquiry into the causes of homelessness.

IH Subscription