Westminster Council has failed to fulfil a pledge made in 2009 to re-house 1,000 overcrowded households between 2009/10 and 2013/14.
According to Council figures, in April 2010 there were1,335 overcrowded Westminster Council tenants waiting to be re-housed. By January 2014, the figure was 1,035 overcrowded families in Council accommodation – just 300 less than four years earlier.
In July 2009, the Council’s Overcrowding & Health Inequality Task Group reported that;
“Tackling overcrowding is a key priority in the “Westminster Tackling Health Inequalities Strategy” with the City Council pledged to re-house 1,000 overcrowded households between 2009/10 and 2013/14. The Westminster Local Area Agreement 2008-11 reflects the importance given to tackling overcrowding with the inclusion of two targets, one based on increasing the supply of affordable units and the other measuring the number of interventions to overcrowded households.”
The report further highlights the areas of poor health affected by overcrowding: spread of infectious diseases; respiratory conditions in children; common mental health disorders; accidents around the home; tuberculosis for adults.
Councillor Guthrie McKie, Labour’s Housing spokesperson, said;
“Once again Westminster Conservatives have over-promised and under-delivered on housing matters. Hundreds of local families are living in overcrowded conditions because of the Council’s failure to build more social housing and to make developers provide on-site social housing on new building projects across Westminster.”
“There is over £100 million in the Housing Revenue Account that could be used to build more social housing for families in need. At the same, developers are lining up to build luxury homes all over Westminster and the Council should insist that at least 30% should be available at social rents”
Westminster Conservatives- all promises, no delivery
• Westminster Conservatives announced, re-announced and re-announced again ‘the biggest council house building plans for a generation’ promising 500 new homes. What happened? In fact, just 139 new ‘affordable’ homes have been built since 2010, and only 85 of them were for council rent.
• Residents were promised that a new Council home would be built for every one sold under the Right to Buy. In fact, Westminster Council has sold 66 Council flats under the Right to Buy since 2010, pocketing £16.2 million, but has built no new Council homes with that money.
• Meanwhile, of the 9,000 former council flats in Westminster that have been privately sold, 3 out of 10 are now being rented out privately, at vastly higher rents. So, of two families living next to each other in a council block, one could be paying £120 a week in rent to the Council, and the other paying £400 to a private landlord. No wonder Housing Benefit bills have gone up