Sir Robin Wales announces ground-breaking vision to transform housing in Newham

27 February 2012 in Housing and Mayor
Pioneering plans to transform housing in Newham and improve living conditions for low income families were announced by Mayor Sir Robin Wales today.
Cracking down on rogue landlords and prioritising those in employment for social housing are behind two consultations which he launched at a roundtable event in Westminster. The launch organised in partnership with Centre for London, an independent think-tank and research institute, also saw speeches from Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary and Professor Anne Power, Head of Housing and Communities at the London School of Economics and Political Science. A range of housing experts and policy makers were also in attendance.

Speaking at the event, Sir Robin’s plans set out his vision for future housing policies which he believes could be rolled out across London to offer a fairer deal on housing for the squeezed middle.

The first of the consultations launched will look at supporting those who work hard on low wages by prioritising people in employment for social housing. Additionally people who have made a contribution to their community in other ways such as serving in the armed forces would also be given preference.

He also discussed proposals for mandatory borough-wide licensing of private rented properties to combat rogue landlords, tackle anti-social behaviour and drive up standards in the private rented sector. The first phase of this consultation is now complete and today sees the launch of the second stage which is due to run until the end of April. This stage of the consultation will contain more detailed proposals about how the scheme would operate and what it could mean for landlords and tenants if it was given the go-ahead. All landlords and tenants are invited to have their say.

Sir Robin said: “This launch today shows Newham is leading the country when it comes to housing – our plans for social housing allocations will help to drive aspirations and form a stable community where people choose to work and stay. Our resilience agenda is all about rewarding those who make a positive contribution to their community and these changes will help those on a low income who are working hard to support themselves and their family.

"We also want to tackle the crime and anti-social behaviour which is sometimes associated with bad private sector rented housing so this is why we cracking down on unscrupulous landlords. There are good landlords in the borough and we want to work with them. But we need to target those who are responsible for housing which is overcrowded, unhygienic and dangerous. These proposals would target these rogue landlords and stop them from making a profit from the misery of others."