Monday, October 31, 2011

Secure affordable homes for all: A policy for the next Government

This picture is from the Newham Compass meeting held last week at East Thames Housing Association headquarters in Stratford, E15 on the key issue of "affordable housing".

East Thames Housing Association Chief Executive Officer, June Barnes, (right) spoke first and set the scene about the horrendous housing shortage. She thinks that the new affordable rent model may well result in 170,000 new homes nationally but is risky to housing associations and a "one-off" that cannot be repeated. 

Next (on the left) is the Chair of Carpenters Estate Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), Eddie Benn. Eddie talked about the history of the TMO and what they had achieved as a resident led organisation and the future difficulties they face.
Finally, Labour London Assembly member Nicky Gavron (middle of picture) talked about the failure of Tory Mayor Johnson to deliver on his housing promises and the threat to hundreds of thousands of  Londoners by savage  cuts in grants, allowances, benefits and security of tenure. The vulnerable and the working poor will be "cleansed" out of most of London. 

I enjoyed this event but will agree with the remarks of one of those who also attended "...Speakers were excellent although I did leave feeling dispirited listening to able people applying their ingenuity to squeezing the best policies they could from the current situation while knowing all the time they would be woefully inadequate".

The meeting was chaired by Newham Compass, Christopher Owens (rear of picture).  The next event possibly will to invite one of the authors of "The Spirit Level". 
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