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

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Stories

Yesterday, 22:56

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was perplexed by his side’s poor performance against FK Ostersunds during their 2-1 home defeat in the Europa League at the Emirates on Thursday evening.

Yesterday, 22:09

Arsenal lost 2-1 at home to FK Ostersunds at the Emirates in the Europa League on Thursday but won the tie 4-2 on aggregate to qualify for Friday’s last 16 draw. Find out which Gunners and visiting players impressed Layth Yousif on a disappointing night in North London.

Yesterday, 21:59

The impressive footballers of FK Ostersunds narrowly failed to create one of the greatest shocks in the history of European football against Arsenal in the Europa League at the Emirates on Thursday night – after winning 2-1 only to lose the tie 4-2 on aggregate.

Yesterday, 15:30

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is hoping striker Alexandre Lacazette could be fit to play in the next round of the Europa League, handing the Gunners a timely injury boost.

Yesterday, 12:37

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants Jack Wilshere to sign a new deal but has revealed the decision is not just his as the club look to reduce his basic salary in favour of a more appearance-based wage.

Yesterday, 17:00

The chief executive of a secular pressure group has backed under-fire inner north London senior coroner Mary Hassell, saying “religion shouldn’t be a trump card.”

Yesterday, 12:00

Leah Williamson has backed the returning Kim Little to inspire Arsenal Ladies to SSE Women’s FA Cup glory this season.

Yesterday, 13:43

A masked gang has hit Archway with a series of terrifying muggings.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

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