MPs have protested to the Archbishop of Canterbury about plans by the Anglican church to sell off its portfolio of affordable housing in London.

The Church commissioners, who manage the portfolio, have unveiled proposals to sell the three Octavia Hill estates in Vauxhall, Walworth and Waterloo in south London. The commissioners plan to sell 1600 homes to another landlord and reinvest the money.

Former sports minister Kate Hoey, Liberal Democrat leadership contender Simon Hughes and solicitor-general Harriet Harman have written a joint letter to archbishop Rowan Williams to express their concern about the plans.

In a parliamentary debate the MPs urged the commissioners to safeguard the rights of tenants by selling the properties to a registered social landlord.