Ian Henderson and Andrew Barshall of the housing charity Save the Sutton Estate, were invited to the Houses of Parliament to meet a group of Peers and MPs from across the political spectrum, to discuss the selling off of socially owned housing to the private sector and overseas investors. Many people have seen the transformation of Britain's great housing trusts and charities, set up by Victorian philanthropists, such as William Sutton, for the benefit of the poor, being changed into development companies for the private sector.
The Save the Sutton campaign was started to fight against the plans of the social landlord Affinity Sutton's plans to sell off 50% of the historic Sutton Estate to the private sector and overseas investors, leaving them a potential surplus in excess of £1/4 billion.
"We were very appreciative to have the backing of so many Peers and MPs for the Save the Sutton Estate campaign, and by the level of support from MPs and Peers from all parties for social housing in London. Peers and MPs from across the political spectrum expressed a deep discomfort and anger with the selling off of social housing for the benefit of buy-to-leave investors from overseas. They also expressed a great deal of concern about the transformation of our housing trusts and charities into commercial businesses putting profits, or surpluses, before the people they were set up to serve."
"The council In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the richest borough in Europe with the widest discrepancy between rich and poor, using the excuse of necessary austerity measures, have made their priorities clear by their unwillingness to help fund social housing but their ability to find millions of £s to put into the opera at Holland Park."