Labour has warned that the new Housing and Planning Bill could spell the end for around 190,000 council houses by 2020
The Housing Bill, which received its third and final reading in the House of Commons this week, will allow all social housing tenants to buy their homes at discounted rates and will force councils and housing associations to sell their most valuable stock.
Labour said that these measures, combined with the existing decline in social housing, would lead to the loss of around 40,000 council homes each year.
It warned that the homes would bought up by overseas investors and buy-to-let landlords rather than reserved for tenants.
Shadow housing minister John Healey said this would result in the loss of one in every eight council homes.
Healey said: ‘We simply can’t solve the housing crisis without more new homes of all types – including council homes.
‘By selling off affordable homes for local people to overseas speculators and buy-to-let landlords, ministers will make the housing pressures people face even worse.
He added: ‘Rather than running down the number of much-needed affordable homes, ministers should be investing in more homes to rent and buy.
‘This extreme Housing Bill fails young people and families on ordinary incomes who need a hand to afford a home to own or rent. Ministers must re-think these damaging plans.’