By Cllr Peter Mason
Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Transformation
It is symptomatic of the broader challenges London’s economy faces. At one end of the Uxbridge Road, average incomes in Southall are £20k, whilst to the east in Chiswick they are more than double that figure. This growing income inequality, coupled with decades of short supply of new homes has led to an affordability crisis that has spread to suburban and outer London.
That’s why Ealing Labour have put into place a plan to deliver our key manifesto commitment to build 2,500 genuinely affordable homes.
Whilst ordinary working families can no longer afford to buy, and increasingly find renting a struggle, the homes that are being built in the Borough because of our great transport connections are increasingly out of reach of average earners. It simply isn’t enough to build new homes. No one should have to spend more than a third of their income on their housing. This principle is centre to our goal to build homes people can genuinely afford.
Building new genuinely affordable homes is just one part of our broader mission to make an impact on housing and homelessness. Alongside our plan for new homes, we’re also working to improve standards and quality in the private rented sector, investing £250m in our council housing, arresting the rapid growth in homelessness, as well as setting out how we will guide the Borough to sustainably grow.
Our plan to build isn’t just limited to what we are able to deliver as a council. We will need housing associations to share our vision, and private developers to take our lead. Under our proposals we will:
– Use the council’s own land to deliver much needed new housing, increasing our direct delivery pipeline of new homes of all types and tenures to 3,100.
– Champion an ambitious multi-million-pound bid to the Mayor of London for the levels of grant we need to support our plans for affordable homes.
– Expand our wholly owned council company Broadway Living into being a direct builder, returning us to the time when Councils were Britain’s biggest house builders.
– Embrace council estate ballots, which will sit at the heart of our plans for regeneration, ensuring residents continue to be integral to our plans to deliver more, better quality homes
– Give clearer guidance to private developers, setting out our expectations for genuinely affordable homes in their schemes as 60% social and London affordable rents, 30% London Living Rent and 10% discount market rent and shared ownership.
– Secure greater transparency to the development process through publishing viability assessments that don’t meet the target of delivering 50% affordable homes overall.
– Develop a new housing list for discount marketed rent and shared ownership properties to ensure that Ealing residents get first dibs on new homes.
Our home building plans are the biggest in London, and have already attracted £99million in new subsidy for social homes from the Mayor of London. Our ambition to build the next generation of council homes is only limited by the land we have available, the grant we can use for subsidy, the capital we can borrow and our capacity to deliver.
With just 42 short months to go for us to achieve our goal, Ealing Labour is as committed to deliver our plan for at least 2,500 genuinely affordable homes.