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Darren Rodwell says London is the epicentre of housing crisis

Darren Rodwell also sits as London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing & Planning

The leader of Barking and Dagenham Council has warned London is the epicentre of a housing crisis.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, who is also London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing & Planning, was commenting after Local Government Association (LGA) research warned that council house waiting lists could double by next year. 

The LGA’s study suggests lists could be increasing due to a rise in homelessness as well as a persistent shortage of social housing.  

Research also shows one in 10 households in need of housing has been stuck on council waiting lists for over five years as a result of the chronic shortage of affordable homes.

In London, there are currently 250,000 people on a waiting list for council housing, furthermore, the capital also has 165,000 homeless people living in temporary accommodation arranged by their respective boroughs. 

The capital counts for two-thirds of all homelessness in England. 

London Councils, which represents all 32 boroughs as well as the City of London Corporation, is calling on the Chancellor to use his upcoming Spending Review to address the issue by bringing in new powers and resources to boost housebuilding. 

“London is the epicentre of the housing crisis. The longstanding shortage of social housing in the capital has driven up pressures and is the fundamental factor behind London’s appalling homelessness rates,” said Cllr Darren Rodwell. 

“Boroughs are determined to turn this situation around, but for too long we’ve lacked the resources required to build housing at mass scale. Giving boroughs these resources is crucial for tackling homelessness and will be a major boost to the post-pandemic economic recovery.

“We’re urging ministers to listen to councils and use the Spending Review to help us deliver the homes Londoners need.”

London Councils’ submission to the government’s Spending Review, which points out that London boroughs have experienced a 25% reduction in funding since 2010, includes seeking increased investment in the Affordable Homes Programme, long-term certainty over social rents to aid financial planning. 

It also includes complete flexibility over local use of Right to Buy sales receipts, so that every penny raised from council house sales can be reinvested in building a replacement home.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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