Labour Councillors have called for an inquiry into claims that Westminster Council has “placed thousands of their homeless families in Newham and elsewhere” by “outbidding Newham’s housing team”. The claim has been made by Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, writing in the Guardian.
The Mayor of Newham, argues
“Wealthy Westminster council receives about £8m a year in homelessness prevention grant, while Newham, which has been dealt the biggest cuts in the country, gets just £700,000. They can therefore continually afford to outbid our housing team and have placed thousands of their homeless families in Newham and elsewhere. In turn, a growing number of London councils are forced to house their homeless people further and further afield. The impact of moving families away from schools, family networks and their communities is devastating.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“This is a very serious matter if Westminster has been using Government money to outbid other boroughs for homes in their own borough. We have asked for details of the number of Westminster families placed in homes in Newham over the past 5 years and why and how Westminster is ‘outbidding’ Newham. We thought there was a protocol which outlawed ‘overbidding’ and we have asked if the Council abides by this protocol. It looks like Westminster Conservatives have been using Government cash to make the London housing crisis even worse.”