We know how important safe, affordable homes are – that’s why Labour have invested in housing against the odds, and will continue to do so.
When we were elected in Hounslow 2014, a key pledge was to invest in homes for local residents on modest incomes. Despite eight years of Conservative government failure on housing, Hounslow council under Labour has achieved huge amounts to provide more housing and improve living situations for thousands of people across the borough.
Ahead of schedule, Labour secured over 3,000 new affordable homes for the borough, including 400 council homes. We've been tackling tenancy fraud in our council homes, which has returned over 25 properties per year for use by families in need. We’ve also reduced waiting times for council homes by halving the time it takes to re-let a council home after tenants leave.
A major priority has been helping families threatened by homelessness. The number of families we prevent from becoming homeless has increased by 40% and we have reduced the number of households we have placed in temporary accommodation by 60%. We have also helped over 600 of our tenants affected by welfare reform to manage their finances, find work and remain in their homes.
We have improved services and quality of life for our tenants, sheltered tenants and leaseholders in a range of ways - from establishing a team of Estate Police Officers to modernising accommodation. We've completed the modernisation of all our council sheltered housing schemes, adding communal facilities and improving the lives of over 700 sheltered residents. These endeavors have made tangible differences to people's lives - with reported incidents of anti-social behaviour on council estates, down by over 25%, and complaints reduced by over 80% to fewer than ten per month.
Following the Grenfell tragedy, Labour also moved quickly locally to declad and reclad the one high rise tower block in the borough that used the material flagged for testing by the government, and are investing £196m in fire safety and estate improvements over the next five years. We're proud to be the first authority in the country to remove all potentially unsafe cladding, and replace it with a safe, solid aluminium, alternative.
Cracking down on rogue landlords has been high on our agenda, and our housing inspections and interventions have resulted in the improvement of c. 540 substandard private rented single-family dwellings. We’ve issued 367 enforcement notices, improving property safety and prohibiting the use of dangerous buildings. Critically, we’ve also brought 171 empty properties back into use.
Labour are also committed to supporting the most vulnerable members of our community to remain independent. Over 20% of our 13,000 homes are now adapted for people with disabilities, and we have carried out over 200 enabling alterations to private homes a year, through administration of the Disabled Facilities Grant scheme. Our handypersons help over 1,800 people a year with small tasks around the home, which they otherwise wouldn't be able to carry out themselves.
If re-elected in May, Labour will deliver a further 3,000 new council & housing association homes for rent. Everyone needs a safe, secure place to call home and Labour is committed to ensuring the provision of genuinely affordable housing.