Search Class

Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey MP responds to Policy Exchange call for sale of social housing


Today, Jack Dromey MP, Shadow Housing Minister, argued against the arbitrary sell off of social housing.

In an article written exclusively for Class (Centre for Labour and Social Studies), Jack Dromey MP responds to proposals in the latest Policy Exchange (PE) publication “Ending Expensive Public Tenancies: Fairness, Higher Growth and more homes”:

“Policy Exchange argues that nobody ‘has a right to live in the most expensive parts of town’. But it is not a question of rights, it is a question of what benefits society as a whole. As the Olympics proved, we are at our strongest when we are united and when we come together regardless of background or circumstance. These proposals would divide us and break up mixed communities. It cannot be right to demonise social tenants asserting they have no place in large parts of our cities.

While welcoming the recognition in the report that there is a shortage of homes Jack asserts that the PE argument is flawed:

“If implemented, these proposals would see central government forcing council’s to sell their most expensive assets which provide a long-term, sustainable income stream. Imagine the outrage if the government demanded that businesses sell-off their most expensive assets in this way. Yet this is exactly what these proposals will do to local councils.”

Instead, Jack sets out alternative action to fund homes and create jobs:

“Rather than seeking to divert attention from the catastrophic failure of their housing policies, this out of touch Government needs a change of direction and an alternative plan for jobs, homes and growth. The Government should start by taking urgent action now with a bank bonus tax to fund 25,000 affordable homes to put unemployed building workers back to work, create jobs and apprenticeships for young people and provide a boost to the construction industry.”

Read the full article here

Notes to Editors

• Jack Dromey is the Shadow Housing Minister and the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Erdington. Jack Dromey sits on the National Advisory Panel of Class.

• This article is written in response to the publication “Ending Expensive Public Tenancies: Fairness, Higher Growth and more home” which was published by the Policy Exchange on 20 August 2012

• The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a new think tank established by Unite the Union, GMB and the Institute of Employment Rights to act as a centre for left debate and discussion. Originating in the labour movement, Class is working with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today.

For more information and media enquiries contact Anneliese Midgley – Political and Communications Officer on or 07515 708 223