Today, I launched my pledges to fix the housing crisis in Camden, as Green MP for Holborn and St Pancras.
As a Camden Councillor, with local residents I’ve exposed failings in the council’s regeneration projects and my pledges seek to fix the problems that have led to problems like this across the country. The Green Party would make it easier to build more council homes and community led housing projects in Camden and stop more demolitions unless residents agree in a proper ballot.
You can see more about my scrutiny of the council’s regeneration programme at the CIP Challenge Project website here: www.cipchallenge.org.uk
My five key housing pledges to people in Holborn and St Pancras are:
Get councils building council homes
We’d provide £8 billion a year in 100,000 new direct funding grants for council homes, coming from reduced tax breaks for landlords. This policy has been shown to pay for itself in reduced housing benefit bills. We’d also relax borrowing limits so that councils like Camden can prudentially borrow to put even more council homes in their regeneration projects.
Suspend right to buy
This will help stop the wave of councils (including Camden) who are looking at going into business with big developers to cut the risk of new council homes being lost this way.
Stop unfair rent rises with smart rent controls
For private renters we’d let cities like London set limits on rent rises and bring in new rights for renters with longer notice periods and more conditions on evictions. We’d regulate property guardian companies to stop the spread of this ‘zero hours housing market’.
No estate demolition without a vote of residents
This is a promise Sadiq Khan made to Londoners and has already broken. Greens would put the right for residents to decide into law.
Backing for community led housing
New co-ops to take over empty buildings, and community land trusts to build permanently affordable homes, would get funding and support to grow.
In my role as a London Assembly Member, I appear in a new film on estate regeneration – Dispossession, the great social housing swindle – which will premiere next month. My comments on the break up of communities that occurs in many council projects in London can be heard in the new trailer for the film.