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Labour slams Westminster for failing on overcrowding pledge

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Labour slams Westminster for failing on overcrowding pledge

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing

Westminster Westminster

Westminster City Council has been slammed by Labour for failing to deliver on a pledge to tackle overcrowding in the borough.

In 2009, the Tory-led council pledged to rehouse 1,000 overcrowded households between 2009/10 and 2013/14.

However, according to council figures, in April 2010 there were 1,335 overcrowded tenants waiting to be rehoused but by January 2014 the figure was 1,035 - just 300 less than four years earlier.

In July 2009, the council’s Overcrowding & Health Inequality Task Group reported that: "Tackling overcrowding is a key priority in the 'Westminster Tackling Health Inequalities Strategy' with the city council pledged to re-house 1,000 overcrowded households between 2009/10 and 2013/14. The Westminster local area agreement 2008-11 reflects the importance given to tackling overcrowding with the inclusion of two targets, one based on increasing the supply of affordable units and the other measuring the number of interventions to overcrowded households."

The report also highlighted the areas of poor health affected by overcrowding: spread of infectious diseases; respiratory conditions in children; common mental health disorders; accidents around the home; tuberculosis for adults.

Councillor Guthrie McKie, Labour’s housing spokesperson, said: “Once again Westminster Conservatives have over-promised and under-delivered on housing matters. Hundreds of local families are living in overcrowded conditions because of the council’s failure to build more social housing and to make developers provide on-site social housing on new building projects across Westminster.

“There is over £100 million in the housing revenue account that could be used to build more social housing for families in need. At the same, developers are lining up to build luxury homes all over Westminster and the council should insist that at least 30% should be available at social rents."

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