Redbridge second most crowded borough in London, figures show
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:06 25 April 2019
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Redbridge has the second fewest homes relative to its population size in London, figures show.
Data from Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MCHLG) reveal the borough's population was 301,328 in 2017 while there were just 103,462 homes.
This means there is fractionally more than a third of a property available for every person.
The table is topped by Newham.
The least crowded borough was the City of London with 0.87 homes available per resident, followed by Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster - where there is more than half a property available for each resident.
Redbridge Council's Labour leader Jas Athwal said the figures indicate a failure of successive governments to build “adequate, sustainable housing”.
“Councils such as Redbridge are left to deal with a huge housing crisis that needs alleviating now, hence our commitment to provide 1,000 affordable homes over the next five years,” he said.
“Nonetheless, we can't do this alone and the government needs to provide leadership and strategy to ensure everyone is able to live in safe clean and adequate homes”.
He also slammed the government's right to buy policy – which has enabled social housing tenants of two years or more the chance to buy their home from the local authority.
Figures from the Land Registry revealed that, between April 2000 and March 2018, some 450 of these homes were re-sold for a combined profit of £63m.
“For 10 years, no council houses were built in Redbridge,” he said.
“We have reversed this irresponsible policy and are starting to replace housing stock lost through right to buy.”
“This work will take time but we are determined that no one in Redbridge is forced to sleep on the streets.”
Opposition leader Linda Huggett (Conservative, Monkhams) acknowledged the shortfall in Redbridge's housing stock.
But added: “It is also vital that the community are actively involved in the planning process so that they do not end up with sub-standard modular housing on unacceptable sites.”
She referenced a controversial application to house homeless people in Manford Way park, Hainault, due to be considered by the council tonight (Thurs).
“Campaign to Protest Rural England guidance says that councils should look at available brownfield sites first and not build on green spaces and green belt land which the conservatives have pledged to protect,” she added.
However Meenakshi Sharma, founder of IlfordLivesMatter, said it is “duplicitous” to interpret the figures as a simple justification for building more homes.
“Those two things do not correlate,” she said.
“We need to look at everything in a holistic way.
“We need to look at quality and density of the housing and who is accessing it.
“We need to look at what types of homes are being built. Are they suitable and affordable for the people living in the overcrowded conditions?
“Or who are in temporary accommodation both within and outside the area?
“Where is the housing being situated? In areas which have the worst GP to patient ratio in the country.”