Half of East End council housing ‘below standard’ Cameron admits

MORE than half the rented social housing in London’s deprived East End is ‘below decent living standards,’ according to the Prime Minister.

A “huge backlog of work of work” needs to be carried out to bring it up to scratch, David Cameron has admitted in a Parliamentary reply to Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali.

He said in his reply: “It is completely unacceptable today that 58 per cent of the housing in her constituency is not of decent standards.

“The ‘Decent Homes’ (programme) will have to be looked at in the Spending Review, but I understand the force of argument in her constituency particularly.”

An estimated 7,000 families are living in sub-standard council property in Bethnal Green & Bow and in neighbouring Poplar & Limehouse constituency.

Ms Ali is now campaigning for cash promised by the previous Labour government for the improvements after being told by Communities State Secretary Eric Pickles that there is an ‘indicative commitment’ of �222 million for Tower Hamlets.

“It’s important to keep pressing for this cash,” she told the East London Advertiser this week.

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I want the ‘indicative commitment’ turned in a real commitment—this money must be ring-fenced.”

But it depends on the Housing Corporation’s examination of the East End’s housing stock, due later this month, before Whitehall can release any funds, the Secretary of State has told her.

Rushanara is ‘confident’ Tower Hamlets will “pass the test” and get the cash because of the dilapidated state of more than half the properties.