Monday, 26 March 2012

Lambeth Council's approach to housing - a working single mum tells her story

Further to the concerns raised about Lambeth's u-turn on co-operative housing, and our own housing manifesto launch, I was sent an interesting post on MumsNet which highlights well why Green policies are needed in the borough.

This is what the poster - a working single mother - writes about the impact of Lambeth's housing policy:

"Rent rises in Lambeth of approximately 17% 9% 9% 9% over the past four years (not to mention previous increases), mean in real terms my rent has doubled in under 10 years, I am a working single mother on a low income, not low enough to claim housing benefit and no desire to do so, although financially it would seem we would be better off.

"When I complained in the past over the 17% rise along with many other tenants, I was told by Lib Peck herself that it was due to all kitchens and bathrooms being replaced.

"More and more onus has been placed on the tenant for repairs, Lambeth does no decoration, has scrapped promise to improve kitchens and bathrooms, yet we're extorted with rent increases every year.

"With the money taken from us we may have been able to improve council properties for ourselves employing tradesmen who take pride in what they do and treat the tenant like a client, as it is, we are left with no money to improve our surroundings and receive poor customer service from every department.

"My kitchen sink unit fell apart whilst waiting to be included in aforementioned scrapped scheme, it took three appointments to get it replaced (including a revisit when my kitchen flooded as a result) and it has been done to a very poor standard.

"Who makes these arbitrary decisions? I have been expected to find an extra £60 per month, £40 per month, £40 per month £40 I'm now paying £180 more a month than 5 years ago......When will it end?"

This is the kind of thing that George Graham and Green councilor Rebecca Thackray encountered in constituency casework around housing in Lambeth.

You can read the Green Party's proposals on housing here.

No comments: