Senior Islington councillor says government ‘just doesn’t get’ housing crisis after green paper published

Public meeting about the development of the former Holloway Prison site on 25.11.16.
Pictured speak

Public meeting about the development of the former Holloway Prison site on 25.11.16. Pictured speaking from the floor, Cllr Diarmaid ward Islington councilÄôs executive member for housing and development - Credit: Archant

Islington’s housing chief says the government “just doesn’t get” the housing crisis after today’s green paper revealed there will be no money to build new council homes.

Cllr Diarmaid Ward did have one reason to be happy, however. After three years of lobbying and harassing the government to scrap a policy forcing councils to sell their high-value homes, it has been dropped.

Islington would have been hit the hardest had the policy gone through – potentially losing up to 300 homes a year and one third of its total housing stock. There are currently 18,300 people on the housing list in the borough.

Cllr Ward said: “Today’s announcement that the ludicrous policy of forcing councils to sell-off thousands of council homes will finally be dropped is extremely welcome.

“However, it is not a day for celebration as the much anticipated green paper shows once again how they just don’t get it when it comes to the housing crisis.

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“There is not a penny of new funding to help build new council homes and the government has failed to give councils the freedom to build council homes themselves by refusing to lift red-tape that would allow councils to borrow to build.”

Cllr Ward added that the town hall, which is partway through the largest council house building programme in the borough for 30 years, needed a government to give it funding and the freedom to borrow.

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