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Opinion: Creating a new generation of council housing

PUBLISHED: 08:30 03 August 2019

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, claims the housing crisis will be a footnote in the history books in 20 years time.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, claims the housing crisis will be a footnote in the history books in 20 years time.

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There's no escaping the fact that housing is among London's greatest social and economic challenges. There are no quick fixes, no silver bullets, no easy options.

I see the impact of failed government policy first hand in my surgeries: increased homelessness, more rogue landlords and a whole generation of young people locked out of the property market.

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In Brent there is an unquestionable need and ambition to make things better. And we've come a long way already, from bringing council housing services back in-house to using our own company, Invest4Brent, to purchase properties back out of private hands. So far we've re-housed 205 families and by 2023 we will have bought 778 properties, available to residents at affordable prices.

But there is obviously much more to do if we are to make housing universally affordable so our children can continue to call Brent home. Council homes are in perilously short supply, which is why we welcomed the mayor of London's pledge of £65million for more than 800 new homes to help us create a new generation of council housing.

In the last fortnight, the council has agreed to a multi-million-pound deal to provide a further 235 extra council homes as part of our award-winning South Kilburn regeneration project. These homes for existing residents in South Kilburn are at the heart of our goal to help local people remain in their neighbourhood, in high quality, award-winning homes.

This is just the beginning; I'm committed to building a better Brent, so that in 20 years the housing crisis will be a footnote in the history books.

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