If #UKgovernment can create billions to save the banks it can create billions to save 82,210 and rising #homeless tenant #families and 1000s of individuals

5 June 2019

To Haringey Councillors,

It is time for the LGA and Haringey Councillors to howl with rage at Parliament on behalf of London's 56,560 homeless families
I am attaching the Deputation Requisition from members of the congregation of St Paul the Apostle, Tottenham. It has been accepted for the meeting of the Housing and Regeneration Panel on the 10th June. I am also attaching a brief about temporary accommodation. 

May I suggest that the LGA and Haringey Councillors have seriously overestimated the benefits to Tottenham's 3000 homeless families of a target of 1000 new homes and gravely underestimated the depth of the London housing crisis from the point of view of Haringey's tenants. Even if 1000 new homes can be built over four years, about which officers are skeptical, it nowhere near meets the demand created by homelessness in the borough and in London.  Meanwhile 1000s of homeless families will be without a permanent home for four more years or over.

LGA Report is bland "It was clear to us that elected members and strategic partners were generally supportive of the housing priority to deliver 1000 homes over the next four years. Given that some officers are skeptical as to whether the target can be achieved it is also clear to us that that it will be essential to put in place an agreed delivery plan as soon as possible. Additionally, the delivery of new council homes should relieve the pressure on the general fund temporary accommodation budget. A detailed financial and operational plan to achieve these saving needs to be urgently agreed and delivered".   

The LGA reports that "The council has very recently moved to agree terms with a development partner LendLease to continue work on the major High Road West scheme. This will help to build confidence that the council is keen to continue economic renewal of the right kind and should make this known and clear to residents, businesses and developers". 

It is by no means clear what the LGA means by "economic renewal of the right kind". If it uproots the poorest tenants from their homes, with little hope of a permanent home for up to and over ten years, if it threatens 50 successful small business, well established on their own land,  with compulsory purchase orders, that cannot be "of the right kind". 

Business as usual about housing, as suggested by the LGA to Haringey Councillors, is not fit for the purpose. It does not safeguard all the electorate in Haringey from homelessness, nor does it guarantee all residents a truly affordable home. Nor does it protect small businesses from the abuses of power by large property developers. 

It is time for the Mayor of London,  London Assembly members,  London Councils, Haringey Councillors and the LGA to howl with rage on behalf of London's 56,560 homeless tenant families and demand Parliament provides a budget of billions to move them into permanent truly affordable homes by ending cuts in housing benefit, ending benefit sanctions and zero hours contracts, subsidising the private rents and/or introducing rent controls and by ending the current High Road West scheme.  These are matters of great very urgency to be done as first aid while house building is accelarated.   

If government can create billions to save the banks it can create billions to save the homeless. The good health and well-being of all UK citizens in or out of work must now become a national priority.  

With best wishes, 

Paul Nicolson