Barnet Labour announce Commissioners for their Housing Commission

Barnet's Labour councillors have announced the members of their Housing Commission today.

The Commission will be Chaired by Nicky Gavron AM, Chair of the London Assembly Planning Committee, Labour spokesperson on planning and housing supply and member of the Housing Committee. Nicky has a long track record of developing housing policy at all levels of government, and was the first London statutory Deputy Mayor with responsibility for the London Plan.

The other Commissioners are:

Tony Clements, former policy advisor to John Healey, the last Labour Housing Minister and an editor of the Red Brick blog on social housing.

Rabbi Danny Rich, Barnet resident and Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism.

Rev'd Colin Smith, Barnet resident and senior Methodist Minister in the borough.

Janet Solomons, Barnet resident and former Social Care professional.

Glyn Thomas, Barnet resident and Board Member of CDS Co-operatives - a group of housing co-ops.

Bob Young, public health and housing practitioner, Director of the Academy of Urbanism, former Director of Housing at City of Manchester and former Chief Executive of Newham's Local Space Housing Association.

Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Alison Moore and Labour's Housing Spokesperson, Cllr Ross Houston will both serve on the Commission as Joint Vice Chairs.

The Barnet Labour Group Housing Commission has been established to investigate solutions to the housing crisis, in particular how we can increase the supply of affordable homes for rent and home ownership in the Borough, and how we can improve standards in the private rented sector.

The Commission is being launched at a public meeting next week at 7pm on Thursday 20 November, at the Crown Moran Hotel, Cricklewood Broadway, with Cllr Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council as Guest Speaker. All members of the public are welcome.

The Commission will run for eight months, with at least six meetings - all open to the public - and will take evidence from independent housing experts, other London Boroughs and members of the public. Anyone can submit written evidence to the Commission by emailing office@labour4barnet.com.

The Commission will produce an interim report in January 2015 and a final report in September 2015. The findings of the commission will be used to try and influence local and national housing policy, to help build more affordable homes and improve standards in the private rented sector.

Cllr Alison Moore said: "I would like to thank all our Commissioners for agreeing to give up their time to work with us to find solutions to the housing crisis.

"This year, for the first time in the history of the borough, lack of affordable housing was a top 3 issue in the residents' perception survey in Barnet, showing just how important an issue it has become right across our community. 

"There is a growing recognition that lack of affordable housing no longer affects just those on the lowest incomes. 

"In launching our housing commission and opening it up to take evidence not just from housing professionals but also from a range of other organisations and members of the community we want to start a real debate in Barnet about housing."

Cllr Ross Houston said: "House prices in Barnet are now so high fewer and fewer people can afford to realise their dream of owning their own home, and private rents in Barnet are the highest in outer-London forcing many people into debt and the risk of eviction.

"Home ownership is falling and homelessness is increasing - we have to find workable solutions to this housing crisis to try and help people, and this is what our Housing Commission will be investigating."


Notes: 

1. Full details of the Labour Group Housing Commission, including details of future meetings and ways to participate or submit evidence can be found here: http://betterbarnet.org.uk/housing_commission 

2. Further information on our Housing Commissioners can be found here: http://betterbarnet.org.uk/commissioners 

3. To sign-up to attend the launch event next Thursday go to: http://betterbarnet.org.uk/housingcommission

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For further details please contact:

Cllr Alison Moore: cllr.a.moore@barnet.gov.uk

Cllr Ross Houston: cllr.r.houston@barnet.gov.uk

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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