Janet Daby MP and Cllr Natasha Burgess with residents of Moat Housing
Janet Daby MP and Cllr Natasha Burgess with residents of Moat Housing

Local residents deserve a clean, well-kept and affordable property.


Yet too many people and families are denied this.


Every day I receive emails from constituents highlighting multiple housing issues of dangerous levels of mould in their homes as well as the struggle to find an appropriate home that meets their needs. Under this Conservative Government, we have seen less money provided to local authorities to cope with huge social housing demands and higher private sector rents. My constituents deserve better.


Steep rent increases are common for many of my constituents. I was disappointed to hear that some of my constituents who live in Catford, are being affected by rent increases of 9% and service charge increases of up to 62% by their housing provider, Moat Housing. These increases are unacceptable and do not fit the meaning of affordable in any dictionary I know.


Consequently, this will risk residents being priced out of the local area as well as potentially falling into in-work poverty.


I understand that a significant part of the increase in the service charge is due to a larger communal area having to be maintained. However, this is not the fault of residents, and Moat Housing needs to do more so that residents are not left with sudden, unexpected costs. Additionally, Moat needs to provide a good service for a decent price.


The Government must do more to support Housing Associations, so that they can better fulfil their mission to provide high-quality and affordable housing to those who need it.


To this end, I visited impacted residents with Cllr Natasha Burgess (Catford South) to collect a petition from residents. I submitted this to the House of Commons to raise this issue nationally, and to signal that more needs to be done to stop runaway rent and service charge inflation.


I also handed in a separate petition to Moat Housing. I hope they will listen to local residents.


Only a Labour Government will improve the state of housing in Lewisham, London and across the UK. That’s why if elected a Labour Government will enact a housing recovery plan. This will aim to boost affordable housing and enhance local voices on how housing is built.


In the local elections last week we saw Council gains for Labour as well as Sadiq Khan securing a historic third term as Mayor of London. It shows that people in London and across the country are demanding a change from a Conservative Government that goes from crisis to crisis.


Only the Labour Party have the solutions to reverse 14 years of Conservative decline. It’s time for a general election now.

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