Harrow Borough Council 'needs to stop moaning and get building' says housing minister Brandon Lewis

Harrow council member for housing Cllr Glen Hearnden in the Grange Farm Estate

Harrow council member for housing Cllr Glen Hearnden in the Grange Farm Estate

First published in News
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A government minister says Harrow Council should ‘stop moaning and get building’ after figures revealed it spends £500,000-a-year renting properties it used to own.

The comments come after accounts showed Harrow Borough Council has to pay to rent back homes it used to own for social housing tenants.

The properties were sold under the Government's Right to Buy scheme, which has led to “a financial straitjacket for Harrow residents” according to council cabinet member for housing Glen Hearnden.

In response to Cllr Hearnden's comments, housing minister Brandon Lewis says the Right to Buy is both increasing housing supply and reducing waiting lists.

He said: “Overall, the housing stock grows and more people are being housed. Critics of Right to Buy are enemies of home ownership, and fail to appreciate the wider benefits of helping people move on and up the housing ladder.

“So far, Right to Buy sales have generated £420 million in receipts to be reinvested in new affordable homes, and council house building starts are now at a 23-year high.

“More council housing was built in London last year than all thirteen years of the last Government.

“However, Harrow Council is currently sitting on £2.6 million in unspent Right to Buy receipts for new affordable homes, and it needs to stop moaning and get building.”

Last month the council announced it was moving forward with plans to build more than 500 new homes, including the redevelopment of the Grange Farm estate in South Harrow.

The authority’s housing department is now in discussions with tenants on the estate to develop a regeneration delivery plan.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "There's a sad irony in the fact the Council is now renting back homes it sold, at a significant cost to taxpayers.

“It's a good thing that former council tenants were able to get on the housing ladder by purchasing their home, but councils are still under enormous pressure to house those on waiting lists.

“The root cause of this problem is our illiberal planning system, which means we are not building enough homes in the places people want them, at the prices they can afford.”

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2:34pm Wed 13 Aug 14

concerned British citizen says...

We dont know about the need for Harrow Council to "stop moaning and start building"-but there is plenty more that Harrow Council can do as regards Homelessness and Housing problems in the LB of Harrow.

-They could start with stopping all the misinformation they spend loads of money on, trying to make the homelessness problem look less worse than it is.
-Harrow Council could also stop hindering homeless people who try and access the help they are entitled to by law-to make the numbers go down.
-Harrow Council can try and help people and families that are homeless in Harrow instead of keeping them in the dark, giving them the run around and wearing them down -instead of helping.
-Harrow Council housing could have a clear policy on Homelessness instead of beating families into the ground who help themselves yet still need any modicum of help as is the law from Harrow council housing.

We are a British family of three that has been repeatedly denied any assistance from Harrow Council Housing despite us getting ourselves off the streets into a single room as excluded occupiers for over 13 months now.

Harrow Council could start by having a more transparent and accountable policy on homelessness and housing - making housing and housing assistance available to all and not just their friends and family or those nepotistictally linked.
They could also stop vindictive and discriminating practices against homeless families just because the homeless families speak up for themselves.
Shame on Harrow council housing- for having subvertive and vindictive policies against homeless families.
Shame on Harrow Council that children born in Harrow have to live on the streets/ or in a van and be prevented from attending school in Harrow by Harrow Council housing.

Sorry we could not have a single positive thing to say about the two years we have had the terrible misfortune of having to ask for a hand up not a hand out by Harrow Council after paying taxes and being decent British citizens and taxpayers for our working life.

Linda and John and family, paying rent for a single room in Harrow for 13 months with no help but much hindrance from the council.
We dont know about the need for Harrow Council to "stop moaning and start building"-but there is plenty more that Harrow Council can do as regards Homelessness and Housing problems in the LB of Harrow. -They could start with stopping all the misinformation they spend loads of money on, trying to make the homelessness problem look less worse than it is. -Harrow Council could also stop hindering homeless people who try and access the help they are entitled to by law-to make the numbers go down. -Harrow Council can try and help people and families that are homeless in Harrow instead of keeping them in the dark, giving them the run around and wearing them down -instead of helping. -Harrow Council housing could have a clear policy on Homelessness instead of beating families into the ground who help themselves yet still need any modicum of help as is the law from Harrow council housing. We are a British family of three that has been repeatedly denied any assistance from Harrow Council Housing despite us getting ourselves off the streets into a single room as excluded occupiers for over 13 months now. Harrow Council could start by having a more transparent and accountable policy on homelessness and housing - making housing and housing assistance available to all and not just their friends and family or those nepotistictally linked. They could also stop vindictive and discriminating practices against homeless families just because the homeless families speak up for themselves. Shame on Harrow council housing- for having subvertive and vindictive policies against homeless families. Shame on Harrow Council that children born in Harrow have to live on the streets/ or in a van and be prevented from attending school in Harrow by Harrow Council housing. Sorry we could not have a single positive thing to say about the two years we have had the terrible misfortune of having to ask for a hand up not a hand out by Harrow Council after paying taxes and being decent British citizens and taxpayers for our working life. Linda and John and family, paying rent for a single room in Harrow for 13 months with no help but much hindrance from the council. concerned British citizen
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