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Councillor Peter Mason standing in a local street, looking to the left of the picture. The words Leader's Notes are superimposed on the image.

Homes at the heart of our plans

In my first leader’s notes of 2024, I would like to wish everyone a very happy, safe, and prosperous new year. I hope you were able to enjoy the festive period with family and friends.

As we begin the new year, with even a smattering of snow falling across London this week, we renew our ambitious commitment to providing safe and genuinely affordable homes for our residents with a new housing strategy.

No one should be without a home and, with temperatures plummeting, we are working hard to protect those facing homelessness. Rough sleeping at any time of year can be dangerous but in extreme cold it can potentially be life-threatening. During the current cold snap, we are working with our community and faith partners to ensure everyone who would otherwise spend the night on the streets is offered somewhere safe and warm to stay, regardless of their circumstances.

Genuinely affordable places to live

But the housing crisis and the need to take action is far wider than this. We know that many of our residents are finding their household budgets at breaking point in the current difficult economic conditions. With rents in the private tenants skyrocketing, and increased interest rates for mortgage holders, Ealing’s housing affordability crisis is worse than ever.

More than 7,500 local families are now waiting for a council home and we have seen an unprecedented surge in the number of households who have nowhere to turn except to the council. More affordable homes are desperately needed.

We’ve been working hard provide new genuinely affordable homes for our residents. Work has started on site for more than 1,300 genuinely affordable homes in the borough since the beginning of 2022/23 – including 500 in Southall last summer. Along with the successful extension of our private rental sector licensing scheme at the start of 2023, which is driving up standards for private tenants, we’re already taking real action to improve our residents’ lives.

Homes our residents deserve

In the coming weeks we will begin consulting on our new housing strategy. This will set out how we can build on our achievements and increase the number of genuinely affordable homes available to our residents even further across all of our 7 towns.

New homes must meet our residents’ needs and must be of the quality that residents deserve. The communities that they form should be safe and filled with pride and identity. We are committed to hearing and acting on your views through this consultation so that the decisions we take are the right ones to improve lives for all our communities.

Our ambitions are challenging. There are financial, legal, and planning constraints and, as a council, we do not have direct influence over many of the homes in the borough. But we cannot afford not to be ambitious with our plans for housing, it’s simply too important. That’s why we will work tirelessly with others to ensure that residents in all our 7 towns can afford to call it their home.

Councillor Peter Mason signature
Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council

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