Housing (London)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:17 pm on 23rd April 2008.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North 3:17 pm, 23rd April 2008

Absolutely. I could not agree more. There are many ways to deal with that, such as forming co-operatives; we need to keep those places in the social sector. However, we need overall housing administration in London that requires at least half of all new developments to be housing for people in need, and at least a third, although I should prefer half, to be for affordable, controlled rent—social rented. We also need to end the scam, which I mentioned when I intervened on my hon. Friend Mr. Dismore, of developers buying out their obligations by putting money and development somewhere else. We need mixed and balanced communities.

I am proud to represent my constituents and to do my best for them, but I am ashamed when I talk to people and I know that they will bid week after week and get nothing as a result. One can see the depression in the family and the potential for family break-up. Youngsters hang around the streets; there is nothing wrong in that, but it is wrong for it to be someone's only option because they are frightened to be at home at night. I thank the Minister for what he has done in trying to improve conditions on estates, and for his understanding of the issue, but we need an urgent action programme to deal with the housing crisis in London.