Search

Editor’s comment: Points system will not solve homelessness

PUBLISHED: 15:30 10 January 2018

Islington Town Hall. Picture: SAM GELDER

Islington Town Hall. Picture: SAM GELDER

Archant

It’s hard to specifically fault the council’s workaround for getting homeless people off the waiting list, but inevitably it does feel like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

The fact is, there aren’t enough council houses in Islington – everyone knows it. The council knows it. The people on the waiting list know it. Even the judge who ruled against Islington Council knew it: “Supply is far outstripped by the demand for this type of housing accommodation,” he admitted.

All the same, it is important that people actually on the list feel they are being treated as fairly as possible, even and especially within a system that is deeply unfair. It’s unfair because Islington, like many London boroughs, has been given an impossible task: manage an enormous waiting list that stretches well into five figures without being able to build more than a handful of new homes each year. Islington is putting up 137 this year – which will cover about 7 per cent of its 18,300 waiting list. If that sounds meagre, consider that 137 is the most it has built in a single year for three decades.

It’s why I was glad to see the town hall on Thursday formally adopt a special planning policy governing the Holloway Prison land that means developers should promise to cough up at least 50 per cent “genuinely affordable” homes if they want a crack at the site.

But in the meantime, families are stuck on the waiting list in unsuitable temporary homes for years at a time. Homeless families can’t find housing without being forcibly leapfrogged over other, also deserving, people.

Housing is broken thanks to nearly 40 years of governments stifling building and encouraging selloffs. It will not be fixed by this or that amendment to one borough’s allocations policy.

Related articles

Latest Islington Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

The Shepherd’s Cot club are on the verge of being relegated after losing to Brondesbury last time out

Yesterday, 16:47

The curtain could finally be raised on a forgotten 400-seat underground theatre beneath Islington Green – a decade after it was built.

Yesterday, 16:35

A popular Blackstock Road boozer was reportedly ordered to close on Wednesday because of an ongoing licensing dispute.

After getting out on 49 last month and making double figures numerous times, the 21-year-old claimed his maiden fifty in T20 cricket last night

Yesterday, 11:00

Last Saturday the second-team secured the title while the thirds are closing in on success too

Yesterday, 08:50

City and Islington College (CANDI) students are “over the moon” after bagging places at some of the “world’s best universities” on an emotional A-level results day.

Essex beat Middlesex by six wickets with four balls remaining after chasing down the home side’s victory target of 211 at a packed Lord’s on Thursday evening.

Thu, 18:25

Crew members at Islington Fire Station raised £316 for a “wonderful” cause by hosting a charity car wash.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now