The Government’s latest housing bill represents yet a further serious attack on the future of social housing. Their plans include removing £450m from Croydon’s HRA by changing rent formulas, which will drastically reduce our ability to invest in new council homes and to keep existing ones maintained to a high standard. Unfortunately their Bill does nothing to tackle the chronic shortage of social housing and at the same time will also exacerbate the increasing dependency on the private rental market by ending securing tenancies and by penalising households whose salaries go over £40,000. Needless to say, we are working hard to lobby against this Bill.
On a more positive note our Labour Council’s landlord licensing scheme now has 25,000 landlords ‘signed up’. As well as ensuring we can work closely with the many excellent landlords across Croydon, the scheme has sadly already exposed some of the appalling conditions some people are being forced to live in whilst being charged very high rents. Now that fines of up to £20k are possible under the new licensing scheme for those landlords who abuse the system; we would hope for a rapid improvement in living conditions for many.