The Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs will today launch a blistering attack on the Conservative Government’s Housing and Planning Act which he warned risked severely limiting the council’s ability to house families and pricing residents out of the borough.
The Act, which received Royal Assent on 12th May 2016, will have a devastating impact on Tower Hamlets – with council officers estimating it could force the council to sell over 100 council homes in the next five years with thousands more at risk.
The Mayor also warned that the Government’s introduction of Starter Homes which will be classed as ‘affordable’ despite costing up to £450,000 threatened to undermine efforts to make housing more affordable to ordinary people.
Tower Hamlets Labour Group remains vigorously opposed to the Housing Act and Mayor Biggs has led the Council’s response, launching a consultation on a new Housing Strategy earlier this year, to protect residents in Tower Hamlets from the worst excesses of the Act.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:
“The Conservative Housing Act will lead to a huge loss of affordable homes, which will only exacerbate the spiral of ever higher housing costs. By calling massively expensive Starter Homes “affordable housing”, the Government is giving developers free license to build fewer genuinely affordable homes.
“Tower Hamlets has the fastest growing population in the country and we need to prioritise genuinely affordable homes, tackle homelessness and secure a better deal for residents in private rented accommodation. The Housing and Planning Act will severely limit the Council’s ability to meet these priorities.
“My hope is that the new Housing Strategy the council is consulting on will protect residents from the worst excesses of this destructive Housing Act.
“As a council we are focussed on securing genuinely affordable housing and mitigating the impacts of the Conservative Housing Act. We responded robustly to the Government’s consultation and we will continue to look at how we can provide more genuinely affordable housing and a fairer deal for private renters.”