Tower Hamlets housing problems take centre stage at Labour Party conference
Tower Hamlets Labour Party campaigner Tarik Khan was selected to speak on behalf of Labour Party delegates from across the UK this week at the Party’s national conference in Manchester.
Bow resident Tarik Khan represented Tower Hamlets Labour Party at the annual conference attended by more than 10,000 people from across the country. He spoke to delegates about the housing crisis and its impact on Tower Hamlets residents after the local party submitted a motion to the conference.
Tarik spoke about the problems residents in the borough face with overcrowding, rent increases and high service charges. He called on the national Labour Party to build 200,000 new homes a year and legislate the private rented sector introducing licensing for landlords following a general election victory in May 2015.
Full Text of Speech (CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY)
Tarik Khan from Tower Hamlets Labour Party. This is my first time at conference.
Thank you conference for prioritising this housing motion.
In the recent elections our candidates and activists spoke to over 10,000 residents a month – and housing was the biggest issue raised by residents.
Residents were concerned about
· Increasing rent every year
· Uncontrolled service charges
· Dodgy landlords
· And the bedroom tax
These are issues David Cameron does not care about.
When Ed Miliband wins the election, we will have a massive opportunity to put this right.
Under this Tory Government we have seen
· Housebuilding is at its lowest in peacetime since the 1920s;
· Homelessness rising every year;
· The number of families with children living in bed and breakfasts at a 10 year high;
· And rough sleeping up by nearly a third.
And the Bedroom tax: Well, I am proud to be in a party, which will abolish this.
Whilst campaigning, I spoke to a neighbor of mine who lives in a single bedroom flat with his four adult children. I cannot imagine the struggle they face on a daily basis.
Between 1997 and 2010 the Labour Government:
· Built nearly 2 million more homes in England, including half a million affordable homes.
· Improved housing standards: Inheriting from the Tories in 1997 a £19 billion backlog in repairs, we brought 1.5 million social homes up to a decent standard through the Decent Homes Programme, including fitting over 700,000 new kitchens, 525,000 new bathrooms and over 1 million new central heating systems at a cost of £33bn.
When Labour are in Government next May, I want to see us:
· Build 200,000 new homes a year
· Take control and legislate the private rented sector, license the landlords
A decent home is the core of an individual’s wellbeing. It affects the very things we hold sacred and the very issues we have been discussing here in conference.
It affects our
· Children’s education
· Social life
These are issues that the Tories and David Cameron do not care about, but we as the Labour Party are passionate to change.