Mayor says Tower Hamlets is ‘front line of the housing crisis’

John Biggs gives his speech at the event. Picture: Kois Miah

John Biggs gives his speech at the event. Picture: Kois Miah - Credit: Archant

The mayor welcomed the news that more affordable housing has been built over the last year but warned that east Londoners are being hit hardest by the capitals housing crisis.

1,073 affordable homes were built in 2015/16 of which a third of the properties were family-sized social rented homes - and up from 635 the previous year.

The mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, welcomed the news at a Tower Hamlets housing event, in the Harford Community Centre, Mile End, on Monday but raised concerns about the impact of the government’s housing policy on the East End.

“In Tower Hamlets the housing crisis isn’t abstract, it’s an everyday reality,” said the mayor.

“With soaring prices, the fastest growing population in the country and around 20,000 people on our council housing waiting list, we are the front line of the housing crisis.

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“The shortage, cost and quality of housing in the capital is exacerbating the cost of living and making it harder and harder for families to live in London.

“This problem hits hard in our part of town, particularly given the high levels of growth, poverty and deprivation in the borough.”

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The mayor also outlined his plans to build 1,000 genuinely affordable council homes and to deliver genuinely affordable rents.

“We’ve made amazing progress over the past year increasing the number of affordable and family sized homes being built but there is far more to do.

“I am determined to fight for the best deal for Tower Hamlets. My approach is simple. We need genuinely affordable homes not just affordable on paper.

“We also need to build places that people want to live. That means providing the green space, GPs, shops, schools and transport links which are vital to modern life, as well as the homes people can actually afford to live in.”

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