Saturday, August 12, 2023

The Housing Crisis: A possible positive way forward & a definite negative

On Thursday evening I took part in an informal discussion of a possible way to provide much needed homes for homeless families. The suggestion is largely untested at scale, extremely complex, potentially financially risky but may (repeat may) offer a "least worst" way forward.

Later that evening I met residents from my ward (with my ward colleague Cllr John Whitworth. Our 3rd ward colleague, Cllr Mclean, is a member of a Planning Committee, so therefore could not attend) to discuss a local planning proposal. 

This proposal would, if accepted, result in in new homes being built but only at "Market rents".  In September 2022  average rents in Newham for a one bed flat was £1300 per month. 

There is also a number of other important objections to this particular development. 

While there will be some payments by the developers to fund possible social housing or infrasture, it would appear that very little if any, of the 5800 on the Newham Council homelessness register or the 34,000 on its waiting list will be able to afford such "market rents". 

I hope we can find a way to fund more homes for homeless families but I will certainly be working with residents to change, or if necessary, stop any proposal to build any single development that is 100% market rents.

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