Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Newham Full Council Meeting 18 June 2018 - 3 minute update on Housing Services

Picture from the new style Newham Full Council meeting at East Ham Town Hall yesterday evening. The most people I have ever seen at a normal Council meeting I think?

As the Cabinet member of Housing Services I gave a 3 minute report on what I had been doing (see below) and answered 4 written questions from the public. 

"Chair, Like my cabinet colleagues, I have had a busy few weeks going walkabout around Newham estates, blocks, housing schemes and projects; talking to residents, service users, management, officers from the GLA, other councils, the local voluntary sector and front line housing staff about the good and the bad in Newham Housing.

Nearly everyone recognises we have a housing crisis and it is not only a crisis in London but a national crisis up and down the land. 

Yet, in Newham, We have our own challenges and opportunities, including having the longest Council waiting list in London with 26000 households chasing around 570 vacent properties every year. For every single social rent home that comes available, there are 44 households who want a move. 

We also have the highest number of homeless in London and we have thousands of residents in social housing, in the private rented sector and in owner owner occupation, who suffer from overcrowding and poor quality homes.

I have had children taking exams contact me because they have no where to go at home to study and revise. We have grown up children in their 30s and 40s, still living with their parents, not through choice, but because they cannot afford to move out and find their own homes. 

We will continue to campaign and press the Government to work with us to eliminate slum landlords, overcrowding and homelessness, while looking to transform how we deliver housing services in Newham. Residents will be at the heart of this.

In the Autumn, we will start a review from top to bottom of the borough allocations policy and then look at a rebirth of Tenant and Residents representation and participation in our borough 

Following on from the first anniversary of Grenfell disaster, today, I agreed in consultation with the Mayor, to spend £10 million on essential fire safety contracts and to spend a further £10 million on fire safety by end of the financial year. Details to be published. 

We expect the Government to live up to its promises to fully fund these essential fire safety works. Even though the money that they have promised councils so far appears to be inadequate. If we don’t get our money we may have another fight on our hands. 

Thank you Chair. 

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