POLITICS

Housing Bill: 19 Defeats And U-Turns Inflicted On Government's Flagship Reforms

A bumpy ride for "pay-to-stay" charges and ending lifelong council homes

22/04/2016 16:22 | Updated 26 April 2016
Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

NB: This article was amended to reflect three further defeats that took place the following week.

The Government's flagship housing legislation is having a miserable time of it in the House of Lords. Three defeats last week followed by five this mean the Housing and Planning Bill will look significantly different by the time it returns to MPs a week on Monday.

And peers have another day at it.

From ending council houses for life to selling off expensive social housing to subsidise home-buyers, the Housing and Planning Bill is the Government's answer to the housing crisis. 

But it has critics. And with an "anti-Tory" Labour-Lib Dem majority in the House of Lords, plus disgruntled Tory peers, the Bill is being slowly demolished.

MPs may ignore the will of the Lords, but there has already been a series of concessions. Here are 19 defeats and U-turns it's suffering from.

  • 1 Defeat: Raid on council coffers
    John Stillwell/PA Archive
    The Treasury has been blocked from keeping the proceeds of the forced sale of high-value council houses - to fund Right-to-But discounts - without parliamentary approval
  • 2 Defeat: £100k discount on new homes
    Scott Barbour via Getty Images
    A flagship scheme to hand well-off first-time buyers a taxpayer-funded 20% discount on a Starter Home has been moderated
  • 3 Defeat: Forced house-building
    TOBY MELVILLE via Getty Images
    English councils can decide how many starter homes are built in their area
  • 4 Defeat: Making "pay-to-stay" mandatory
    Yui Mok/PA Wire
    Peers voted in support of a Labour-led amendment to give local councils the discretion over whether to implement “pay to stay”, a market rate charge for better-off tenants
  • 5 Defeat: Charging “pay to stay” at market rates
    John Stillwell/PA Archive
    Peers to back an amendment to lower the “pay to stay” taper rate from 20p to 10p in every pound, so lower-paid families would not be hit as hard
  • 6 Defeat: “Pay to stay” threshold
    Yui Mok/PA Archive
    The Lords voted 266 to 175 to increase the “pay to stay” threshold by £10,000
  • 7 Defeat: "Pay to stay" inflation-linked
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Peers voted for "pay to stay" thresholds to be increased in line with inflation every three years.
  • 8 Defeat: Replacement of council homes
    John Stillwell/PA Archive
    Ensuring a one-for-one - and like-for-like - replacement of council homes where housing shortages can be demonstrated.
  • 9 Defeat: Automatic planning consent
    Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
    Wide open “planning permission in principle” powers are to be limited to housing development
  • 10 Defeat: Local power
    Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive
    Parish councils and local forums right to appeal against developments they think go against a "local plan"
  • 11 Defeat: 'Green' housing
    Rui Vieira/PA Wire
    An amendment to require all new homes in England built to achieve new standards in cutting  carbon dioxide emissions
  • 12 Defeat: Rural 'affordable' housing
    Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment
    Local planning authorities can ask developers of 10 houses or less in a rural area to make some of them 'affordable' compared to local salaries
  • 13 Defeat: Improved drainage
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Brings in new standards for implementation of rainwater drainage
  • 14 U-turn: Rural protection
    Olaf Protze via Getty Images
    The Government is to look at backing down on the forced sale of council homes in national parks and areas of national beauty
  • 15 U-turn: Landlord restrictions
    Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
    Ministers have accepted a proposal to make it harder for landlords to evict vulnerable people that have abandoned their homes
  • 16 U-turn: Rural house-building control
    Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
    The Government has been forced to consider giving councils discretion to exclude building homes in rural areas
  • 17 U-turn: Council house for life
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Ministers backed down on replacing lifelong secure tenancies with contracts lasting up to five years, and agreed to extend maximum to 10 years
  • 18 U-turn: Protecting tenants' money
    Oli Scarff via Getty Images
    Ministers will insist letting agents have to put money in to a Client Money Protection account to stop stop "rogues" running off with deposit
  • 19 U-turn: Basement re-development
    Kansas City Star via Getty Images
    Ministers agreed to review planning laws relating to basement developments amid fears councils cannot control the growth of “subterranean development”
  • 20 U-turn: "Back-door" eviction
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    The Government will look again at private landlords being able to reclaim properties when the become vacant after concern that it was open to being used as a “back-door” way to evict tenants
  • 21 U-turn: Council tenancies
    Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
    Secured tenancies to cover the period that a child is in school
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