Councillors demand Westminster spends new homes bonus on social housing
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Central Government, Development, Finance
Westminster Labour councillors have called on the council to use its latest share of the new homes bonus to build new social housing in the borough.
Westminster City Council has been given £8.25 million by the government from the NHB for 2014/15. The money is based on the amount of extra council tax revenue raised for new-build homes, conversions and long-term empty homes brought back into use. There is also an extra payment for providing affordable homes.
Labour says that the council is under a duty to consult residents on the use of its NHB funding.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of Westminster's Labour Group, said: "There is a clear need for more social housing in Westminster to meet the pressing need from the 1,000 local families living in overcrowded conditions. Since the NHB was introduced Westminster has received millions of pounds in NHB but none of it has ever been spent on building new social housing. With another £8 million available it would be criminal not to spend it building new social rent homes.
"Local councils can decide how to spend the NHB. However, we expect local councils to consult communities about how they will spend the money, especially communities where housing stock has increased.
"We have now doubt that if residents were consulted on the use of this £8 million they would chose more social rent housing as the top priority. What are the Conservatives afraid of? Why don't they ask the people? Why don't they trust residents to decide how to spend this money?"
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