Build more council housing

Audrey from Hampstead spoke at the Citizens’ Assembly (watch the video below): 
 
“We should consider the fact that there are many homeless people in the borough, and they are increasing in number. Therefore we need to think about what to do to provide for them.”
 

Why the contribution is important

Need to do more to help homeless people

by Camden2025Team on December 20, 2017 at 10:34PM

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Comments

  • Posted by CouncillorDannyBeales December 24, 2017 at 22:54

    Thanks Audrey - I agree! We do. We have built the first council homes in decades in Camden. Along with genuinely affordable Camden Living Rent homes (for key workers and residents who wont qualify for council homes but cant afford to live here otherwise, like teachers, nurses, and firefighters).

    Unfortunately Camden's facing significant funding restrictions that limit how many we can build at one time - such as a borrowing cap from Goverment.

    We would like to hear thoughts about what residents think we should do to overcome this? Should we build smaller homes? Build higher? Increase the supply of Camden Living Rent homes? Build more private homes to pay for more council homes? These are just a few options - but we welcome as many suggestions as possible.
  • Posted by secnw3 January 08, 2018 at 10:56

    To avoid the rush for planning and space considerations, offer incentives to the private sector to rent out existing rooms/buildings. Make it easier to re-purpose office or other industrial buildings for re-use as residential.
  • Posted by clarityeconomics January 11, 2018 at 16:44

    The target for Camden should be to make the building of council homes a mainstream activity. This should replace attempts to secure the odd flat here or there by agreeing to the construction of a large number of high-price flats. This is especially important when they are built on council-owned land (viz Fleet Community Centre where NO affordable homes were provided but £850k in cash handed over none of which has been used to build new homes).

    Councillor Beales raises the financial restrictions on councils. Fair point. But perhaps now is the time for imagination. There are long term investors ('nice' people like pension funds) that want to be able to fund building schemes that will give them a long-term predictable revenue. Where Camden owns the land it will be in a good position to insist that rents are set at their levels. Another imaginative possibility would be to work with the Major of London, whose Transport for London can borrow, to build houses on disused rail sites.

    While you are working on that, look to provide more homes within existing Camden-owned estates. A good example in Gospel Oak where blocks were built with large spaces of land in between that is now greatly used and not looked after. The blocks were often built three storeys high, giving the opportunity to add more storeys above. Yes, build higher. No, don't build smaller.

    Camden has done well to provide new council homes near Lismore Circus; it needs to find ways to build more.
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