Residents often ask what we can do about the housing crisis. It keeps young people sharing for years on end, and makes sure a big chunk of our tax money goes towards keeping homeless people in often far from ideal temporary accommodation.
National government needs to let local councils borrow and encourage social building in particular. We need a mayor in London who is committed to a sensible definition of affordability and to getting us building.
I will also soon be bringing together a group of local Councillors to scrutinise the local work of Housing Associations including how government policy and their strategies will affect residents over the next five years.
But the most important thing we can do is build. Labour in Brent are pleased to be able to report some good progress against our manifesto for 2014-14:
1693 new homes were completed over the 2014/15 year, including 773 new affordable homes (46%). Amongst the 773 new affordable homes, 499 were social and affordable rented homes and 274 intermediate homes, that is a ratio of 65:35, broadly in line with Brent planning policy.
This is great news.
We are also working with other authorities to curb developers from artificially lowering affordable or social rent numbers by using viability assessments. I am keen for the Council to take up work in this area so we have an idea of how these documents affect us, and will let residents know of any update.