Redwood attacks house buy-ups

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The Independent Online
HOUSING associations will today be told to stop buying up unsold private accommodation by John Redwood, a leading Thatcherite in the Cabinet, writes Colin Brown.

Underlining Tory right- wing concern about housing associations, Mr Redwood, the Secretary of State for Wales, will take them to task for in effect turning private sector property into public housing to rent. Mr Redwood and other leading right-wing ministers are concerned that housing associations - originally seen as a means of expanding the private rented sector - are acting as a drag on the Government's drive towards private ownership.

Mr Redwood will also urge builders of social housing in Wales to take more care in planning, to avoid big estates and to build on a more human scale.

In the past decade, the Government switched much of its housing investment from predominantly Labour-controlled local authorities to housing associations, but ministers fear that some housing associations have become as committed to public ownership as the authorities they replaced.