Letter to editors on Homelessness
Your story about the huge increase in homeless people living on the streets in Camden is deeply troubling, if not unexpected. Many are mentally and/ or physically ill, and many are former discharged service personnel, all of whom deserve better.
It is the inevitable consequence of the Conservative Government’s and Conservative Mayor’s housing polices, which use Orwellian ‘Newspeak’ to refer to ‘affordable homes’ which are anything but; and to ‘starter homes’ which offer no start at all to anyone on an average income.
The fact is that the Conservative’s bedroom tax, cuts and changes to housing benefit rules and their Housing Bill to sell off higher value rented council homes and Housing Association social housing all add to the pressure for more homes in the borough, especially for renting at reasonable levels.
Camden Council are to be congratulated on their achievements in building more social rented homes and for their support for the street homeless- in contrast to Conservative Barnet, who are busy forcing people out of the their homes on the regeneration estates whilst welcoming ‘buy to let’ landlords and overseas speculators buying ‘off plan’. But even the sterling efforts of Labour Camden cannot address the problem without a supportive London Mayor who is genuinely committed to increasing the supply of really affordable homes- including social homes for rent, at rates that are within the means of ordinary people in desperate housing need.
That is why I believe that Labour’s Sadiq Khan’s plan for ‘Homes for Londoners’, to meet this challenge is the best way to tackle this ever growing housing crisis.
Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden