Letter to editors on Homelessness

Dear editor,


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.


Yours sincerely



Andrew Dismore

Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden