Search

COMMENT: ‘How the Greens will fight for a fairer housing market in Haringey’

PUBLISHED: 11:45 13 February 2015

Gordon Peters of the Haringey Green Party. Picture: Tony Gay

Gordon Peters of the Haringey Green Party. Picture: Tony Gay

TONY GAY at tonephote@aol.com

The Green Party’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green sets out the party’s vision for solving the housing crisis.

"Sadly, Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians have long viewed houses not as homes but as investment opportunities."

Peter Gordon

Some eight out of 10 people living in Greater London said there is a housing crisis in Britain and three-quarters agreed there is a housing crisis in their local area.

This is not news to campaigners who have called current housing policy completely bankrupt and getting unfairer by the hour. And then there’s the Labour council. Haringey Council has done deals with Spurs, losing council housing, and the council Leader is now slated to dine at Cannes for international property event MIPIM, with three others from Haringey, at a cost of more than £30,000.

Everyone needs - and therefore has a right to - a place to live, to sleep, and to have a home life. Sadly, Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians have long viewed houses not as homes but as investment opportunities. Following the March For Homes, and after Cold Homes Week, surely it is time to challenge that whole notion.

Here are some priorities to address urgently. House prices in London are much higher than elsewhere in the UK. Rents in the private sector average £1,450 per month in London and parts of Haringey are much higher than that. Private tenants have no security; landlords hold the trump card of assured shorthold tenancies. They can increase rents and if tenants complain or request repairs, they can - and do - turf them out. We need a tenant’s charter and rent controls.

People working in London, those with professional and important jobs: nurses, teachers, firefighters, police officers, for example, cannot afford to find housing that meets their needs anywhere near their place of work.

Housing is being built, but most of it is aimed at investors and the very rich and foreign buyers who live overseas and leave them empty for most of the time or let them at exorbitant rents. We need to tax empty properties.

The government’s Help To Buy scheme has helped to inflate prices even more. The Right To Buy scheme has decimated publicly-owned social housing. Local authority waiting lists are long beyond measure. Applicants for council and housing association properties are greeted with the following sentence on the front page of the relevant council website: “Due to the very high demand for social rented housing in Haringey, only the highest priority applicants will be successful.”

We need a commitment to serious numbers of really affordable housing – a monthly cost well below half of median income – and an end to restrictions on council’s borrowing to build council housing.

I think housing couldn’t be more important. We need to: end Right To Buy and introduce Right To Rent; end landlord harassment and introduce smart rent controls and security of tenure; build more affordable housing on brownfield sites; give councils the power to borrow to build homes; focus regeneration on the needs of communities for homes to live in, not on investors’ greed; tax empty property.

Only the Green Party is committed to rent controls and investment in affordable housing. Most Londoners know this is a critical issue and that the government can do something about it. We need a government that does, and will demand that of any forthcoming administration.

[Blog: Politics]

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 23:41

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Yesterday, 16:24

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Yesterday, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Yesterday, 12:12

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Yesterday, 09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thu, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thu, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thu, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now