Tower Hamlets Watch

Local Homes Initiative Deemed A Failure | June 1, 2010


The former leader of the Council Lutfur Rahman’s much lauded ‘Local Homes Initiative’ which promised a £20 million package designed to help an extra 500 families escape overcrowded conditions and place them in suitable accomadation has been deemed a failure by sources within the council.

At an average cost of £250,000 pound’s for each home, the council’s buy-back scheme set up in March 2009 as part of the ‘Local Homes Initiative’ has only so far bought back around 75 homes at a cost of £19.5 million over a year later. In February 2010, only 65 had been bought back, and at that time only 39 families had been rehoused, with former tenants still living within the properties bought and payed for by the council. How many of them now are still not being used correctly? Remember also that while these homes were being bought back that the council’s ‘Right to Buy’ scheme was still in full swing and going strongly

Senior staff are now trying their hardest to run damage-limitation in releasing the figures, as it comes to light that a fraction of those 500 families living in awful conditions and promised to be helped are indeed still living in overcrowded accomadation.

Whats confounding their efforts still, are the facts that in the past few months, perfectly fine 3 bedroom homes within Cotall Street, 97 council properties, have been demolished to make way for what seems to be a private development. Also the same £20 million pound figure was quoted last year by the council for saving Robin Hood Gardens with over 250 homes, which the council at that time argued that they didn’t have the money.

As part of the ‘Local Homes Initiative’ last year I also reported about the £8 million pound scandal in my post ‘Council sells 8 pieces of land to RSL for £8 pound’ regarding giving away our land at a £1 a pop to greedy RSL landlords

This scheme is an admittance by the council that the facts stand that most residents applying to the waiting list that now stands at over 20,000 people, are willing to wait for the security of tenure that exists in Council Tenancies above those offered by others. In one year it seems the council have wasted almost £20 million on buying back 70 odd properties, and at the same time have knocked down 100 perfectly suitable accomadation. Also deciding in the same year to demolish 250 homes, in its bid to cosy up to the private sector, selling our land, and homes from underneath us.

Official sources from the council are still unwilling to respond to requests for clarity, as they now seem to be chasing their own tails, none knowing what the other is doing.

The Local Homes Initiative is now giving away millions of pounds for homes sold for a pittance over 10 years ago, is also involved in selling our land for a £1 a time, whose initiating members have been in talks with the HCA in getting Grants for local RSL’s so they can build on this land grab. All for what?, all to make a small dent in our overbloated waiting list.

Our elected officials are now guilty overloading the already overburdened services and infrasture that already exists in this boruough. The council seems to think that in one of the nations most overpopulated boroughs, that in itself supports some of the worst deprivation statistics, and health consquences because of the density, that they can build another 43,000 homes, bringing in over 80,000 extra people without creating any lasting damage.

Confusion abounds in an authority where its Chief Executive is unwilling to officially respond to accusations of his Assistant ‘Lutfur Ali’ getting paid almost as much, if not more than our Prime Minister for only working two days a week. If the people of this borough, dont soon take notice of whats happening and do something about it, our entire area will be transformed, not for the better but for the worst……


Posted in Developments

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