Help us shape the Ealing Labour Party 2018 Manifesto. Tell us how we can deliver on our priorities. Take part in our housing policy commission public consultation that’s online today.
Ensuring people have access to safe and genuinely affordable housing remains the Ealing Labour Party’s most important priority. That’s why as we look toward the 2018 local government elections, we are recommitting ourselves to do even more to deliver more homes in the Borough.
Over the last few months, the issue of fire safety has been brought into sharp focus. When it became clear that Kensington and Chelsea were totally inadequate at dealing with the consequences of the fire at Grenfell Tower, Ealing’s emergency response team stepped up their dedicated work, coordinating efforts at the Assistance Centre at Westway Sports.
At the same time, our housing and safety teams kicked into action a programme of inspecting all of our council owned housing stock, reviewing risk assessments and ensuring that our residents are safe. As the public inquiry into what happened at Grenfell continues, we will be doing all we can to share our understanding of what happened, and work even harder to give our residents the peace of mind that their safety is our utmost concern and responsibility.
The challenge of delivering a regular supply of genuinely affordable homes is huge. The average house price in Ealing is now over half a million pounds, an almost 100% increase in as little as a decade. There are 12,000 people on our council house waiting list, whilst only around 800 homes become available each year to place families in need.
Changes by the Tories in Government to the benefits system, including the introduction of Universal Credit, are putting huge strain on household budgets, and it is leading to a big increase in the number of people being forced into homelessness and temporary accommodation.
For private renters, median rents of nearly £1,400 per month ensure that there is little left at the end of the month after rent and bills to save to fund a deposit to purchase a home. Rip-off landlords and dubious letting agency practices make the experience of renting decent quality homes a stressful and costly experience.
This all takes place at a time where the Government continue to prevent local authorities to borrow the sums of money we need to rapidly expand our social housing building programme, and continue to water down national planning legislation that would allow us to hold developer’s feet to the fire on delivering more genuinely affordable homes within their plans.
The situation must change. So much of how we can truly impact the scale of London’s housing crisis will require a Labour Government. In our ground breaking national manifesto, Labour set out clear plans to deliver a million new homes over the course of the next parliament, and pledged to fund Councils to build a minimum of 100,000 new council and housing association homes each year.
Labour’s Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is already leading the way through the introduction of the London Living Rent. Set at one third of average local incomes, London Living Rent is designed to ensure people can rent and save all at once.
In the meantime, Labour at Ealing Council will do all that it can to deliver genuinely affordable homes, and we need your support to take this forward.
Earlier this year we launched the next stage of our manifesto process, and we are today opening out or public consultation on Ealing Labour’s first policy commission: Delivering Homes We Can Afford.
Our vision for housing in Ealing is clear: Ealing Labour will recommit to our campaign of building more genuinely affordable houses; step in and sort out renting privately, reducing costs and improving standards; and relentlessly secure investment in the infrastructure that enables our communities to thrive.
To achieve this, we have set out ten key challenges on issues as diverse as leveraging investment in genuinely affordable house building, tackling rogue landlords to reinventing and reinforcing our high streets and town centres, and we want to know what you think.
They aren’t an exhaustive list. If you think we have missed anything, or think we should be prioritising things differently, we want to hear from you.
Over the next few weeks we will also be launching the next two policy commission consultations. You can read about all three by visiting our manifesto website: www.ealinglabour.com/manifesto2018.
With best wishes,
Cllr Peter Mason Cllr Jasbir Anand
Manifesto Coordinator Cabinet Member for Housing
Ps. Ealing Momentum are hosting a public meeting “Our Housing -; Safe and Affordable” tonight, 7:30pm at Victoria Hall, inside Ealing Town Hall.
Speakers include Yvette Williams MBE from the Justice for Grenfell campaign, Chris Williamson MP -; the Shadow Fire Minister, Gemini Verney-Dyde from the Notting Hill Housing anti-merger campaign, as well as Cllr Hitesh Tailor, Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Services. See more info and RSVP here.