London Councils respond to housing waiting list warning

‘London is the epicentre of the housing crisis,’ warns London Councils in response to the Local Government Association’s prediction that council housing waiting lists could double next year.

There are currently around 250,000 Londoners on waiting lists for council housing, and London is experiencing the most severe homelessness rates in the country with 165,000 homeless Londoners living in temporary accommodation arranged by their local borough.

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London Councils is calling on the government to deliver new local powers and resources to boost housebuilding in its upcoming Spending Review on 27 October.

The Council’s highlight that London boroughs have experienced a 25% reduction in funding since 2010, and call on the government to increase investment in affordable homes, provide long-term certainty over social rents to aid financial planning and complete flexibility over local use of Right to Buy sales receipts so that every penny raised from council house sales can be reinvested in building a replacement home.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Council’s executive member for housing and planning, said: ‘London is the epicentre of the housing crisis. The longstanding shortage of social housing in the capital has driven up pressures and is the fundamental factor behind London’s appalling homelessness rates.

‘Boroughs are determined to turn this situation around, but for too long we’ve lacked the resources required to build housing at mass scale. Giving boroughs these resources is crucial for tackling homelessness and will be a major boost to the post-pandemic economic recovery. We’re urging ministers to listen to councils and use the Spending Review to help us deliver the homes Londoners need.’

In related news, the Local Government Association (LGA) warns council housing waiting lists could almost double next year to as many as 2.1 million households, due to Covid-19 support schemes winding down and a potential increase in homelessness.

A new report, titled ‘Building post-pandemic prosperity’, found one in ten households in need of housing are stuck on council waiting lists for over five years.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling on the Chancellor to give councils the powers and funding to build 100,000 social homes for rent each year, which would achieve a third of the government’s annual housing target and is expected to improve public finances over 30 years by £24.5bn.

The report also found more than 100,000 fewer new homes will be built across all tenures by 2023 than would have been without the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo by Emily Wang


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