Following news that Poplar HARCA has increased the charge for a parking permit by as much as 257%, Tower Hamlets Labour Group has put forward a motion calling on the organisation to stop the new charges and properly consult with residents in a transparent way.
Poplar HARCA (Housing and Regeneration Community Association) is a social landlord with 5000 properties in the south-east of Tower Hamlets. It has increased charges for parking spaces from £1.96 to £7 per week.
The motion, calling on Poplar HARCA to stop the new charges and to engage in consultation with residents, will be debated by a meeting of the Full Council on 23rd March.
Mayor John Biggs said: “The Tory Government chose to reduce its own housing benefit bill by reducing social housing rents by 1% a year for four years. While this headline MAY BE popular with tenants, the effect of these Tory cuts is to place greater financial challenges on social housing providers. THIS will have a knock-on effect on charges and the number of homes that can be built. The rent cuts will result in a 12% reduction in average rents by 2020-21 which will have to be met by Registered Providers such as Poplar HARCA.
“But the lack of transparency and consultation around Poplar HARCA’s decision to increase charges for parking is something we must challenge. I am certain that they have other options that don’t involve punishing residents.
“The Labour Group’s motion does that and builds on the work being done by me and the Cabinet to support the tenants affected.”
Councillor Sirajul Islam, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member responsible for Housing Management & Performance said: “Poplar HARCA’s decision to increase charges for parking from £1.96 to £7 per week, without even proper consultation with tenants, is unacceptable. We recognise that the Tory changes to social rents are forcing registered providers to consider their charges, but any proposal to increase charges must be discussed thoroughly with tenants and the Council.”