Barnet Labour councillors call for accurate housing needs assessment

Labour Councillors have got agreement from this week's Housing Committee (7 Feb) that Barnet Council will revise their assessment of housing needs in the borough so this is accurately reflected in key documents like the Council's Housing Strategy.

A Labour Council in Barnet would build significantly more genuinely affordable homes than the current Conservative administration, with an initial pledge of 800 new council homes and an ambition to deliver many more if funding can be identified.

A Government imposed cap on local authorities' borrowing restricts the number of new homes that Barnet Council can deliver themselves, but councils  in some "high demand areas" can now apply to have their cap lifted.

Accurate housing needs data helps maximise the effectiveness of such an application.

Labour Group Deputy Leader & Housing Spokesperson, Cllr Ross Houston, who called for the new Housing Needs Assessment said:

"The Council's current housing needs assessment dates back to 2014, and even then our view was that it did not accurately reflect housing need.

"It includes no requirement for additional social rent homes at a time when 2,700 Barnet families are languishing in temporary accommodation and over 3,700 families have had to be re-housed outside the borough because of lack of affordable housing.

"We must have the evidence base to help deliver the genuinely affordable homes our borough so desperately needs."

Ends.

Notes:

  1. A copy of Cllr Houston's member's item raising the issue: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s44789/Members%20Item%20Report.pdf
  2. Full agenda for Housing Committee on 7 February: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=699&MId=9238&Ver=4
  3. Barnet Labour's Housing Commission on the adequacy of the Council's Housing Needs Assessment p18: http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/housingreport
  4. Affordable housing figures in Barnet: http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/barnet_tories_deliver_only_12_affordable_homes_in_2015_16
  5. Homeless families in Barnet: http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/3_101_barnet_children_homeless_this_Christmas
  6. Homeless families re-housed out of Barnet: http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/housing_crisis_3_703_homeless_families_re_housed_outside_borough_due_to_lack_of_affordable_housing
    For more information contact:
     
    Cllr Houston: cllr.r.houston@barnet.gov.uk

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568


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