Views sought on future of housing in Newham
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Views are being sought on plans to shape the future of housing in the borough.
People’s thoughts on “affordable” homes, homelessness, fairer access to housing and raising standards are at the heart of two public consultations launched yesterday (October 13) by Newham Council.
Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “The huge ambition of our housing strategy shows how serious we are about fixing a broken housing system and meeting residents’ aspirations for quality, genuinely affordable homes.
“We have made great progress against our commitments on housing, but our ambition doesn’t end there. We want to go even further to tackle the housing challenges faced by Newham residents and deliver high quality, genuinely affordable council homes.
“Now more than ever, in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, Newham’s people deserve access to good quality, secure homes where they can put down roots.
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“We are determined to deliver that, to drive out homelessness and to continue our calls for the freedom and financial backing we need from government to help our communities thrive for generations to come.”
The town hall’s draft housing delivery strategy sets out a raft of measures, including a tenants’ charter for people in council housing and making sure developers build genuinely affordable homes.
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The local authority is also proposing to transform how it allocates its homes as it aims to cut Newham’s waiting list and prioritise applications based on housing need.
The changes would include requiring people on the housing waiting list to have lived in the borough for at least three years (with exceptions for vulnerable people) and removing employment and family connections in Newham as criteria for a local connection.
It would also include tackling overcrowding as a greater priority.
Cabinet chief for housing and deputy mayor, John Gray, said: “Newham faces the UK’s most severe housing crisis and it’s unacceptable that many of our residents are stuck in unsuitable, poor quality and overcrowded housing.
“By making our allocations policy fairer, we can be sure that we are putting local people first and prioritising those with the greatest need.”
Both consultations run until January 4. Visit newham.gov.uk/housingstrategy and newham.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-housing-allocations-policy/1