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The Reality Of Living In Westminster Council Housing

Submitted by solomon on Wed, 09/13/2017 - 08:48
Image of Southmere Flats
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / George Rex

Where do we start? Housing has always been a problem and it’s not like we can make London any bigger, so why don’t we find a suitable solution for everyone?

Across the UK, 140,000 homes per year are built on average, a figure modestly increased by recent reforms. This is only around half of the new homes the country needs and very few of them will be available for rent by local councils.

Photo of Northumberland Park
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / Carter foto

Therefore many people are being forced to move great distances for affordable housing. I, for example, lived in Westminster Council for around 9 years. It became home to me, my three younger siblings and my Mum. However, due to the lack of support we received from the council, we were forced to move to Hackney.

Councils cannot afford to replace the homes they have to sell under the Right to Buy scheme. This means that residents like me are being forced out since Westminster Council are choosing to buy homes located in Hounslow rather than within the borough.

Photo of Robin Hood Gardens, London
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons / Steve Cadman 

As Ruth Cadbury, the current shadow housing minister told The Independent: “[Westminster Council] is trying to cleanse central London of people on low incomes – which is an issue for those communities but also for the central London economy.”

We all are aware of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the council has been called out for their negligence. But what can residents do without alternative permanent council accommodation or affordable houses to buy?

What am I meant to do about all of this, you may ask?

It’s simple: research. Don’t just sit and pity the Grenfell victims, get up and research further incidents within that council. Think about alternative options for affordable housing. How can we stand up for the vulnerable? Act. When you’ve done your research, make a plan and stand up for those who need our help.

By Naznen