The housing crisis in London has become an emergency. Successive councils have failed time and time again to build the truly affordable housing we need for both key workers and council tenants. Escalating rents and limited affordable housing are forcing many young people out of the borough.
Hammersmith & Fulham's housing stock dates mostly from the late 19th Century. Large older Council estates have significant problems and poor environments. Some post-war blocks are of poor design and are in urgent need of repair.
New developments have too often squeezed out existing residents, as the Earl’s Court project is threatening to do to people living at the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates. We will continue to fight so that residents are guaranteed to be rehoused after their homes are bulldozed and are not forced out of the borough because they cannot afford new luxury flats.
Homelessness is a key issue in the borough, with high numbers in bed and breakfast and other temporary accommodation. Balancing the books on the backs of the poor and disabled, and demonising people who claim benefits, is neither acceptable nor responsible.
We will also ensure a greener future by providing new ‘green homes’ which are sustainable and can reduce our ecological footprint. We will prioritise building on council land and make sure housing is delivered where there is the greatest need and not just where the quickest profit can be made.
The Liberal Democrats would
- Insist that residents made homeless receive the right support and advice to help them into accommodation – with earlier intervention where possible.
- Promote tenant management in social housing.
- Use powers available to reduce the number of empty properties and develop an online map highlighting vacant properties.
- Evaluate creative building solutions including “building up”, “pop-up builds” and “naked builds”.
- Drive community-led decision making where plans for regeneration are developed from the bottom-up by talking to the community first.
- Pressure developers to provide more affordable homes and homes for key workers.
- Encourage developers to provide ‘green’ homes which are sustainable, carbon neutral and energy/water efficient. Make sure that larger developments “green” the environment by having open and green spaces and planting more trees.