More affordable homes and a registration scheme for private landlords would feature under a Labour council in Croydon, as outlined here by Councillor ALISON BUTLER
Housing will be at the very heart of policies for an incoming Labour council. Sadly, we have witnessed the failure of Tory housing policy both locally and nationally and the suffering this has caused to local families and people. Even the departed chief executive, Jon Rouse, declared that the borough has a housing crisis, which once again put Croydon in the national spot-light for all the wrong reasons.
Labour will have a fair housing policy for all of Croydon. The need for a secure and decent home, whether you are an owner-occupier, a council or social housing tenant, in shared ownership or a private tenant, is vital. It affects your life chances and can have a negative effect on your education, health and job opportunities.
If we are to be the borough where big business invests and smaller businesses are actively encouraged to start and grow, then we must have homes for different needs. That is not happening at the moment.
Too many of the new homes being built are for foreign investors and simply out of reach for those on the average Croydon wages. The situation just gets worse for our daughters and sons.
Labour is committed to building mixed, sustainable communities, working alongside social housing providers and housing developers to ensure not only a decent mix of housing but the infrastructure that goes with it. We will make sure that every major new development will have a fair share of homes that current Croydon residents can afford to rent or buy. Labour will also provide new council houses and look to replace the worst of our stock with new, vibrant places to live, with tenancies guaranteed for existing residents.
A Labour council will recognise that private rented accommodation will have a vital part to play in housing in the borough. But whereas we have some excellent landlords, there is also a minority that rents out accommodation that is not fit for purpose. These landlords fail to manage their properties, leaving the council to pick up the tab. This causes not only distress to their tenants but often affects the lives of other families in the street.
Landlords and letting agents need a proper registration scheme and to be accountable for their properties. The best landlords can only benefit from this.
The choices we make in housing policy are not just about putting a roof over someone’s head. Homes are the foundation of our neighbourhoods and communities, they are about giving our children the best start in life. Labour’s plan for Croydon is to see individuals and families proud to live in Croydon in a decent home at a price they can afford, whether they rent or buy.
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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