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East End politicians call on Coalition to keep cash for decent homes

PUBLISHED: 18:00 05 October 2010

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey with Rushanara Ali MP

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey with Rushanara Ali MP

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POLITICIANS are mobilising in advance of suspected housing cuts in a bid to protect a programme of work designed to improve poor housing in Tower Hamlets.

Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali has recruited the Shadow Housing Minister John Healey together with Labour’s mayoral hopeful Helal Abbas and Tower Hamlets deputy Labour leader Josh Peck in a bid to protect the Decent Homes from the anticipated spending cuts.

The Decent Homes programme was a Labour policy which aimed to inject cash in a renovation programme for some of the worst social housing across the country, including Mile End’s Ocean estate where work is already underway.

Ms Ali is calling for people across the community to join forces in lobbying for decent homes in the next two weeks before the Chancellor announces cuts on October 20.

She said it was essential that people across the community worked together to ensure the message is heard and urged people to sign an online petition.

She added: “We can’t afford not to have this money as it will affect another generation growing up and will also affect the elderly who will have windows broken and damp coming in. It affects people across the community.”

She described how the poor condition of some homes in Tower Hamlets as well as the chronic shortage of homes and overcrowding affects the health of residents and the ability of children to do their homework.

Mr Healey said: “In the five months since the Coalition came to power every decision they have made seems to back away from Decent Homes and new homes that people in an area like this need.”

He added: “This is a call to the community to take this campaign right across Tower Hamlets. When we are talking about decent homes we are not talking about repairs that need to be done when windows are broken. We are talking about doors that fit, modern kitchens, central heating that works.”

Josh Peck, who represents Bow West, described how residents of homes affected by damp were dreading the onset of the wetter and colder autumn and winter weather.

And mayoral hopeful Helal Abbas said: “We are now facing a major threat of losing necessary funding to bring our homes up to decent standards, where windows are weather proofed, so people can have proper running water. We are not talking about luxury apartments.”

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