Labour criticises the council over Decent Homes scheme

Tower Hamlets Labour Group has attacked the council for prioritising quantity of renovations over quality under the Decent Homes scheme.

Labour claims that Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, is looking to gain a political advantage by focusing solely on increasing the number of homes in which work is undertaken.

Councillor Sirajul Islam, Labour’s spokesperson on housing, believes this approach is causing the standard of work being undertaken to fall.

He said: “When Labour introduced the Decent Homes scheme it was all about improving the quality of housing stock and boosting residents’ living standards. The Mayor on the other hand has sacrificed the quality of work in a cynical political drive for numbers.

“Councillors across the borough have had complaints from residents that recent Decent Homes work has been substandard and is being done on the cheap.”

The Decent Homes Standard was introduced on a national level in 2000, and is aimed at bringing all social housing up to minimum levels of quality. Labour is particularly concerned that little is being done to improve energy efficiency in homes which leads to cheaper energy bills, with the emphasis instead on improvements to kitchens.

Leader of the Labour Group, Joshua Peck, added: “We are very concerned about how badly the work is being done and how it’s being reduced in scope. The Mayor is obsessed by numbers, so homes are not getting the work they need.”

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We are still waiting to receive a comment on this matter from Tower Hamlets council.