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Fewer homes’ fear in face of growing housing crisis

PUBLISHED: 22:27 15 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 05 October 2010

THE number of social rental’ homes are being reduced in the face of London’s growing housing waiting list, a public housing meeting in East London has been told. City Hall’s latest strategy has thousands of fewer family properties to rent while campaigners say there is a “desperate need” for more housing

By Mike Brooke

THE number of social rental’ homes are being reduced in the face of growing housing waiting lists, a public meeting in East London has been told.

City Hall’s latest strategy has thousands of fewer family properties to rent while campaigners say there is a “desperate need” for more housing.

The new strategy launched for public consultation on May 21 outlines the Mayor of London’s plans for public housing.

OVERCROWDING

The mayor wants to halve severe overcrowding in social housing by 2016 and create another 50,000 affordable’ homes by 2011.

But the strategy actually means fewer low cost’ rental properties, according to Shelter housing charity.

“We have concerns about the proposed reduction in social rented housing out of the 50,000 affordable homes,” said Shelter’s London regional campaigns chief Isabel de la Cour.

This will result in 5,000 fewer social rented homes, we estimate, than in the previous London Plan.”

DESPERATE NEED

She added: “London desperately needs more social rented housing, given that 353,000 households are currently on council housing waiting lists.”

The concerns surfaced at an open consultation at the Fellows Court community centre in Shoreditch, where City Hall’s Head & homelessness chief Alan Benson was in the hot seat’ being quizzed by tenant representatives from across London.

Tenants were worried the new housing strategy has a proposed reduction in social rented homes in favour of properties for low-cost ownership, which they considered were unaffordable and unpopular.


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