Housing Commission to take evidence on social housing

The Barnet Labour Group Housing Commission will be taking evidence next week on the role and importance of social housing, including examples from two other London boroughs who are building more social homes for rent. The Commission will also be asking its witnesses to comment on what a social or affordable rent is in the light of Barnet Council's recent proposals to increase council rents to 80% of average market rents.

With a lack of social homes for rent in the borough, Barnet council are now re-housing people in the private rented sector, so the Commission will also be taking evidence on standards in the private rented sector and what can be done to improve things for private renters.

The meeting takes place on Monday 8 December from 7.15pm-10pm at the Friern Barnet Community Library, Friern Barnet Road N11 3DS, and will hear evidence from Alison Inman and Kate Murray – founding steering group members of Social Housing Under Threat (SHOUT); Cllr Phil Glanville – Housing Cabinet Member, LB Hackney, Cllr James Murray – Housing Cabinet Member, LB Islington and Sarah Sackman – Public Law Barrister and Labour's parliamentary candidate for Finchley & Golders Green.

All members of the public are welcome to attend and listen to the evidence, and can also give their own evidence by booking a 3 minute slot in the 30 minute open mike session.

Monday's evidence session follows two other successful events - a public engagement launch event that took place on Thursday 20 November at the Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood, and an evidence session that took place on Monday 1 December at the Rainbow Centre, Dollis Valley Drive.

Further evidence sessions are being organised in the New Year, including one dedicated to the issue of regeneration on council estates - watch this space for details!

Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Alison Moore said: "We’re looking forward to hearing about how other London Boroughs are tackling the housing crisis by building hundreds of new affordable homes to meet the need of their residents.

"We want to learn from their experience so we can make recommendations to Barnet Council as part of the consultation on their draft housing strategy."

Labour's Housing Spokesperson, Cllr Ross Houston said: "There are areas across Barnet where 50-80% of private rented homes are considered 'non-decent'. It is clear that more needs to be done about this and the council has a role to play in improving the standard of private homes for rent, tackling rogue landlords and encouraging good landlords."

Notes:

Barnet's Labour councillors have set-up the Housing Commission to look into how Barnet can increase the supply of affordable homes, and help improve standards in the private rented sector.

The Commission is Chaired by Nicky Gavron AM, and is made up of independent housing experts, local community representatives and Labour councillors. You can find out more about our Commissioners here.

The Commission will meet at least six times over the next 8 months, and will be taking evidence from housing professionals, other London boroughs and the local community. The meetings will all be open to the public to attend.

Anyone can submit written evidence to the Commission by emailing office@labour4barnet.com

For more information about the Housing Commission see: 

http://betterbarnet.nationbuilder.com/housing_commission

http://betterbarnet.nationbuilder.com/terms_of_reference

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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