West Ham MP calls for Coalition re-think on social housing

West Ham MP Lyn Brown has launched a scathing attack on the government’s social housing policies.

During a House of Commons debate, Ms Brown said that the Coalition’s reforms were “confused” and would increase poverty and homelessness.

Ms Brown was commenting on a raft of measures, including a cap on housing benefit, ending secure tenancy and cutting allowances to tenants who under occupy their homes.

The West Ham MP said: “Taken together, the government’s policies will make it increasingly hard for people on low incomes to find a decent place to live in London.”

Ms Brown attacked the Coalition for slashing spending on building affordable homes and called for new investment in order to relieve chronic social housing waiting lists, which run to over 30,000 in Newham.

She added that as a result of changes to Local Housing Allowance, three-quarters of Newham claimants would struggle to pay their rent with some being forced from their homes.

Ms Brown also said the government’s introduction of the ‘affordable rent model’, which means that rents can be set at 80 per cent of the market level, would lead to an exodus of tenants from inner city areas to outer London boroughs such as Newham, therefore, increasing strain on already overstretched housing stock.