Conservative councillors failed to table one member’s item at last night’s Housing Committee whilst Labour councillors raised five important housing issues for the people of Barnet. Throughout the entire meeting only one Conservative member other than the Chair even said one word.
Labour councillors successfully proposed that five broad issues in the housing sector be included in a far reaching review of the Council’s Housing Strategy.
Member’s items proposed and accepted were:
- Investigating the Private Rented Sector
- Looking at the dismal record of affordable housing completions in Barnet
- Investigating the scandal of empty homes, especially buy to leave properties in some new builds.
- To deal with excessive letting agents fees.
- Provide security to non-secure tenants on regeneration estates, many of whom have been non-secure for over ten years and face uncertain futures after they are decanted.
Labour councillors will seek to implement their commitments made in the election manifesto and deliver for Barnet even whilst in opposition.
The 2013 Residents Perception Survey revealed that a lack of affordable housing is one of the top 3 concerns for local residents.
Labour's Housing Spokesperson, Cllr Ross Houston said: "We’re in the middle of a housing crisis and we need to find solutions to help people struggling to afford their rent or to get on the housing ladder. The Tories simply haven’t done enough on this issue, they seem to have run out of ideas and they don’t appear to be very interested either – I thought it was scandalous that only one Tory member of the committee said anything at the first meeting.
“I’m glad that the issues we raised will be looked into as part of the review of the housing strategy - the more information we have the more we can do to help sort the housing crisis out."
When the Labour Group launched their election pledge to establish a Housing Commission to find solutions to the housing crisis, the Tory Housing Boss, Cllr Tom Davey said: “I don’t believe there really is a crisis, but there may be an issue where people want to live where they cannot afford to live.”