CLP London manifesto consultation response on housing

Housing is an extremely big issue in Dagenham & Rainham, and is arguably the biggest crisis currently facing London as a whole.

We need to secure funding to build the homes that Londoners need. The mayor can use his powers to invest in Housing Bonds in order to fund the building of around 30,000 new COUNCIL HOMES at COUNCIL RENTS… As outlined in David Lammy’s campaign.

We need to put a stop to social cleansing. It is true that we need council homes at council rents but we must also accommodate our young working people, supporting Londoners at the start of their journey. In Barking and Dagenham we have a working person’s option at 65% market rent to help promote this. This is something that should be applied across London. It would also be a good idea with new developments to create mixed tenure to avoid creating ‘slums’ and social segregation.

Building on the greenbelt. As soon as people mention greenbelt they envision rolling fields, parks, countryside and green spaces in general. For much of London’s greenbelt this is not the case. The dilapidated carpark at the end of the road, the derelict industrial site near the marshes – these are classified as greenbelt and could be used so much more productively. Sadiq needs to get London building again and brownfield just isn’t enough on its own.

Stop the use of the term ‘affordable’ – it isn’t affordable! An average 1 bedroom flat in Barking and Dagenham is £943 per month, so current affordability of 80% market rate would mean a resident is paying £754.40 per month + £110 council tax + £120 utilities. This totals at £984.40. The average London wage is somewhere around £35k – AVERAGES 101: There are four people in an office; one on £120k, two on £30k and one on £20k. The average wage in the office is £50k. The actual average wage in our constituency is somewhere around the £25k mark which after the above rent will leave the average person with £500 to live on each month after bills. If they have to commute at £250 a month, they are left with a pittance to feed themselves with.

Introduce a flat rate of affordability 40% market rate + 50/60% working person’s option.

Replace properties like for like on regeneration projects. When an estate is demolished for regeneration the replacement estate should be the same tenure as the original. Unfortunately many authorities are demolishing council rent units and replacing them with affordable rent units – pushing the old tenants out of the area and away from their roots. Sadiq should commit to enforcing a London council housing charter which regulates regeneration projects to prevent social cleansing.

Dedicate 30% bare minimum of units in new build developments to council rents.

The mayor should fight for a London wide allocation scheme. A 5-8 year residency in a borough should provide an extra preference when bidding locally. Giving local residents the edge over the transient and migrant population, helping to keep communities together.