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Housing and Planning Bill: Lords concede on remaining amendment

Words: Laura Edgar
Homes / iStock_000020788340

The House of Commons yesterday (11 May) rejected a Lords amendment relating to the Right to Buy in the Housing and Planning Bill.

Earlier this week, Lord Kerslake tabled amendment 47E, during the ping-pong procedure of the bill.

It makes changes to clause 72, which gives the secretary of state the power to make an agreement with a local housing authority to reduce the amount the local authority has to pay from the sale of high-value, vacant local authority housing.

The amendment would mean that any agreement between a local authority and the secretary of state must be sufficient to fund the provision of at least one new affordable homes outside of Greater London, and two inside. It also gives a local authority the opportunity, where it can demonstrate a need for social rented housing in its area, to make the case for the secretary of state to consider.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis moved that the Commons disagreed with the amendment for a third time.

Although he thanked the Lords for scrutinising the bill, Lewis said: “This is no longer scrutiny: This is a wrecking amendment.”

MPs voted 292 to 197 in favour of a government motion to reject this Lords amendment. English MPs voted 275 to 177.

The Lords also sat yesterday to consider the MPs’ rejection of the amendment.

Denying that his amendment was a “wrecking one”, Kerslake explained that although he was “not immune to the constitutional concerns nor the anxieties about the future position of the crossbenchers” he had to balance this with “what I know about the world outside”. He said that as president of the Local Government Association he had to consider the concerns local government have about the bill, as chair of Peabody Housing Association, the challenge of building more social rented homes, “but most of all what I know about the lives of ordinary people”.

He concluded: “I give just one example of a family with five children living in a two-bedroom flat less than half an hour from this House. The five children share a single bedroom. Will their chances of securing a decent family home be enhanced or diminished by the passage of this bill? I fear we know the answer to that question. In my view, it is the interests of this family and the many others like them that should come first in our deliberations in this House.”

Baroness Williams of Trafford moved that the house should not insist on amendment 47E.

As a result, the Housing and Planning Bill is set to go for Royal Assent today.

Read more here:

Government defeated on starter home proposals

Lords vote through 4 amendments 

Lord inflict further defeats on the government 

Lords pass third reading amid more amendments 

Government blocks Lords’ starter homes amendments 

Lords vote to reinstate amendments 

Commons reject Lords’ Right to Buy amendment 

Lords agree to Commons’ amendments

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