Last week Robert Jenrick MP, the new Secretary of State for Housing, visited Acton Gardens (formerly South Acton Estate) in Labour-run Ealing for a photo opportunity.
When complete, Acton Gardens will boast over 2,500 brand new high-quality homes alongside a community hall, youth centre, dentist, GP surgery, supermarket and space for voluntary groups. Every resident currently paying social rent will be offered a modern, high quality home on the same site, 50% of the new homes will be affordable and there will be a net increase in genuinely affordable homes at social rents.
On the High Lane estate in Hanwell, where residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of comprehensive regeneration in London’s first council run estate ballot, 49% of new homes will meet Ealing Labour’s definition of ‘genuinely affordable’ – costing no more than a third of average incomes. At Copley Close, the next phase of regeneration will be 60% genuinely affordable.
Councillor Peter Mason, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Transformation, said:
“We’re surprised that the Tory Secretary of State for Housing has chosen a photo op in Ealing a few days into the job, because it is Labour in Ealing that has an impressive record of working with residents to deliver high quality genuinely affordable homes in the borough.
“Projects like Acton Gardens, High Lane or Copley Close owe nothing to the Tories. A hundred years on from the Addison Act that introduced the concept of council housing, our pledge to deliver 2,500 genuinely affordable homes is only possible because of the ambition and drive of a Labour London Mayor and Labour Council working together to deliver the largest house building programme in London.
“As Mr Jenrick is an admirer of our work in Ealing, we’re challenging the new Secretary of State for Housing to take action and enable councils like us to build even more homes – this must include urgent grant funding, devolution of Right to Buy to allow councils to keep 100 per cent of sales receipts and rather than sell off public land to the highest bidder, enable us to use it to build much needed homes at truly affordable levels.
“I hope the new Secretary of State will take a different approach to his predecessor and work with local government, not against us.”