View from the chamber: We can’t fix homes crisis without help

PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 November 2018


One of the cornerstones of our shared community vision “Camden 2025” is that everyone should have a place to call home.

But Camden is currently at the sharp end of a UK-wide housing crisis.

This crisis is being exacerbated by huge government funding cuts to councils nationwide. The government has cut Camden’s funding by more than half since 2010.

We also need a strong capital budget to invest in building the new homes and community facilities Camden needs. This means new council homes; living rent homes for our teachers, social workers and those growing up in Camden; and investment in community centres and schools.

We haven’t used government funding cuts as an excuse for not building. Our Community Investment Programme, borne out of this challenge, funds building new council homes and vital community facilities through building and selling homes.

Since 2010, we’ve built more than 285 new council homes and 65 living rent homes, invested more than £115million in 48 schools and children’s centres, and provided new and improved community facilities.

We plan to build at least 1,100 council homes – but we want to build many more and faster. This is why we’ve consistently called on the government to allow us to borrow to fast-track our housing schemes. The prime minister has, after eight years, finally listened and agreed to scrap the borrowing cap – a big step forward. It shows what can be achieved when local government, residents and public services stand together with a united voice.

We will keep fighting for every extra penny to invest in housing in Camden – and we are making significant breakthroughs.

We have just secured £30million from the mayor of London (see p4) which will help us meet some of the costs of building 308 new council homes over the next three years. This is a real boost, especially as we expect to build a further 150 council and living rent homes on top of this over the next four years. But if we are to significantly scale up delivery, we need the funding to meet the full costs of each council home we build.

We also need to invest in our current housing. We committed to a new standard of resident safety in Camden after we had to evacuate the Chalcots Estate last year. We were the first council in the country to commit to removing unsafe cladding and immediately began emergency repair works to get residents back into their homes. Across Camden, we began an extensive programme of enhanced fire risk assessments and set up a resident-led safety panel, to ensure tenants’ concerns and issues are acted on.

The government has recognised our approach and approved our bid for £80m of funding, which will pay for the replacement of cladding and curtain walling at the Chalcots Estate. It will also ensure we can deliver the highest standard of resident safety, without affecting our programmes to improve and refurbish our homes and build new council homes.

In Camden, we believe everyone has the right to a safe, decent and genuinely affordable home.

The government must back councils like Camden that are committed to delivering this vision, even in the most difficult circumstances.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:06

A young man was stabbed in Kentish Town this afternoon.

Yesterday, 16:15

Police are trying to find Nadia Ellewood, who has gone missing from Belsize Park.

Yesterday, 13:35

Police chased a Volkswagen Polo across three boroughs on Monday morning after it crashed into a patrol car at low speed.

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Crouch End inventor is crowdfunding to launch an innovative and wearable air pollution monitor inspired by his own worries as a new dad.

Friday, December 7, 2018

British Transport Police are looking to speak to a man about three women being racially abused on an underground train.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Carlton Tavern could be reopened in April, nine months after the planning inspectorate told them to rebuild it.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Coffee isn’t the only thing Deniz Korkmaz is brewing up in Kentish Town.

Friday, December 7, 2018

We chat to five local designers and artists who tell us about the one thing they must have or do at home that puts them in the Christmas mood


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

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now