Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Slaughter leads debate on Hammersmith housing in Parliament

Andy Slaughter MP led a debate on the current housing situation in our Borough in Parliament yesterday, where the debate about what is happening here was roundly discussed. You can watch it here, and you dont have to wait for ages as it kicks off straight away! Enjoy...


  1. Until I went away to Canada for a year, I used to subscribe to They Work For You, which emailed me links to Hansard whenever Slaughter spoke in the Commons. Seemed like many of his speeches were about social and affordable housing, usually focusing critically on the Tories' record & policies - particularly in H&F and Wandsworth.

    I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but it was interesting to see him here saying he would try to mark out the difference in party policies 'in forensic rather than emotive terms'.

    What I did take away from this in the first five minutes was that there are 350,000 people on the waiting list in London now, in 2010. And that H&F Council have pledged to build 6500 new homes by 2021, 'half of which would be affordable.' So - 350,000 people on the waiting list now, and 3250 'affordable' homes over 11 years in this one borough.

    Is that more or fewer than one might expect? If all 32 London boroughs built this many, we'd have around 100,000 new homes over 11 years. Enough to cope with the 350,000 on the waiting list *now*? How many are predicted to be on the waiting list in 2021, at this rate of building and growth?

    Another thing I'm interested in: from what Shaun Bailey says, he seems only concerned with getting people to buy houses, to incentivise them to rise out of poverty - but what of those people who are never going to buy, or who need more than just a property price incentive to improve their situation?

    This is exactly the kind of thing I still don't understand about Tory (and to some extent New Labour) policies on poverty. We've been waiting 31 years for the wealth to trickle down. Is it even a little bit damp at the bottom yet? Because it seems a lot wetter at the top.

  2. So I have now had time to listen to another 30 mins of it (it's 90 minutes long) - and it's quite shocking. And also makes my previous comment irrelevant.

    Lots here about what the Conservative council are doing. Selling off housing stock to make cash that they can use, and then putting people up in temporary rented accommodation that costs the taxpayer many times more.

    Telling developers that they can forgo providing affordable housing, because of economic hardship, as long as they help the council bulldoze through all the surrounding estates - while the Tory mayor changes the threshold for affordability to an income of £74,000 a year. SEVENTY FOUR GRAND. As Slaughter says, "I do not know by what definition that is an affordable threshold"

    Shaun Bailey says in the flashy Ashcroft-funded leaflet put through my door yesterday that he believes that support engenders dependency. People should be self-sufficient. Well, at least he won't have to put up with any poor dependent people in his constituency in 10 years time. He & the council will have swapped them all for nice rich Tory voters who have paid the market value for the council's valuable land. Ugh.

    I'll listen to the rest at some point and pull out some highlights in another comment if I have time.

  3. [...] 4, 2010 During the Westminster Hall housing debate kindly linked to by Chris Underwood Frank Dobson had a few words to say about the situation in Camden which includes the Maiden Lane [...]

  4. [...] the Westminster Hall housing debate kindly linked to by Chris Underwood Frank Dobson had a few words to say about the situation in Camden which includes the Maiden Lane [...]