My Ilford Recorder column 3 July 2014

In a recent response the Council said " Redbridge has very limited housing stock. The demand for housing far exceeds supply. We currently have 3,009 applicants on the waiting list for 2 bedroom accommodation. ..During 2013/14, there were only 90 two-bedroom lets. ...the average waiting time for a 2 bedroom accommodation is six years and nine months."   The position for those needing three or four bedroom properties is even worse.  Redbridge has the lowest stock of social housing of any London Borough.

Many young people have given up on their dreams of ever owning  their own homes. While the flexibility of renting may suit some, others are forced into the private rented sector as the only available option. In England nine million people are living in rented homes. They are paying record rents, face rip-off charges by letting agents, unpredictable jumps in their rent and insecure tenancies.   Fifty more families were evicted from their homes by private landlords in Redbridge in May. 

Last week the Tories and Lib Dems voted against Labour’s proposals to ban letting agent fees on tenants, to make three-year tenancies the norm and protect against excessive rent increases to give tenants the stability they deserve. 

We need concerted national and local government action to allow local authorities to build enough homes for rent to replace those sold off under 'right to buy'. We also need new homes to buy. But house building under the Conservative led government is  at the lowest level since the 1920s.  Labour has committed to build 200,000 new homes a year by 2020 so more families can get a permanent home.  


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