The Mayor of London has proposed giving the role of social housing commissioner to somebody living in this type of accommodation. According to Sadiq Khan, giving the position to a person who lives in social housing would ensure tenants’ voices are “heard in the corridors of power”.
He pointed out that since he grew up on a council estate, he recognises “just how important social housing is”, but said he is “deeply concerned” that tenants’ voices are unheard by policymakers.
This, he stated, is why an independent commissioner is needed to “stand up for social tenants” and why “this person should themselves be someone who lives in social housing”.
Mr Khan was speaking as he unveiled his draft housing strategy to the London Assembly, which includes an additional £1.67 billion of investment in affordable homes.
Most of this money will be spent on new homes based on social rent levels.
The strategy also confirmed Mr Khan’s plan to require resident ballots on estate regenerations, and commits to ensuring community-led housing organisations are involved in identifying schemes that could deliver at least 1,000 new homes by 2021.
Mr Khan insisted he is doing everything he can to boost the supply of social rented and other “genuinely affordable” homes, as well as helping councils to build more homes themselves and ensuring residents’ voices are heard.
However, he said there is “only so far we can go without government stepping up”.
This, he stated, means it is “crucial” that ministers give councils and City Hall the resources and powers they need for a “step change in the number of affordable homes we can build”.
For further information on any of the points raised in this article please contact Andrew Murray in our Social Housing Team.