2015 ended on a high with Cabinet giving the green light for 800 much needed family homes to be built for homeless families.
A dangerous concoction of the introduction of the Benefit Cap, the extension of Right to Buy and rocketing house prices has led to the housing crisis being experienced on our doorstep. Families attend our surgery who are currently living in tents, sleeping on friends sofas and housed in B&Bs, no longer able afford to live in London.
Although it is a national issue which needs a national solution, we can do our bit locally to think of creative ways to build affordable homes. The Council is therefore working with Local Space, a pioneering housing association, to provide 800 affordable homes over the next four years.
Local Space was established in partnership with Newham Council in 2006, they now own 1,800 homes across East London and is worth nearly £400m from the council’s original investment of £50m. Since it was set up, nearly 3,600 homeless households have benefited from a home provided by Local Space. In addition to the 800 homes the Council will receive a one off payment from Local Space of £9M this year followed by £2.5M per year. With the huge cuts to the Council’s funding this is a great example of how it is possible to have a commercial agenda and deliver social good.
These 800 homes won’t solve the housing crisis but alongside our landlord licensing programme for the private rented sector and Red Door Ventures building private rented homes in Newham, we can make sure the Council is part of the solution.