Times letter: Secure social housing
PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 November 2018
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All the while there is an increase in new build properties which are too expensive for the local residents to buy or rent, built on leased public land.
The council have restricted the number available social housing units in South Kilburn to applicants on the housing register. This practice has been in place for at least the last five years.
This restriction helps to create a situation where there are empty council homes in South Kilburn. The properties are used to house homeless families on non-secure tenancies. While the usage of empty homes to rehouse homeless households is a good thing, there is a block in moving these families from insecure to secure accommodation in the area. In addition, there is a corresponding reduction in social housing tenants on the estate due to natural wastage and non replacement.
Brent Council are charging market rents for council homes (non-secure tenancies) that other neighbouring boroughs ie Barnet, Ealing, rent out at social rents. The council have confirmed that once the regeneration is complete, all surplus social housing on the estate will be released to applicants on the housing register.
The Regeneration in South Kilburn is not due to be completed until 2029.
This leaves us with an ever decreasing number of social housing tenants and an increase in families on non-secure tenancies. These families don’t have security of tenure, hence the recent mass eviction notices sent out to 117 families, clearly this is a sign of social cleansing.