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Nov 13 2013

Cllr Bob Currie on Housing in Harrow

cllr_bob_currieIt is quite clear from reading the letter from Cllr Barry Macleod-Cullinane (The Times 7th Nov) that he does not have a clue as to what has been happening in the Councils Housing Department over the past 5 years, where he has been the opposition spokesperson. He has quite clearly not read the reports that have been published and consulted upon during this time, or listened to the concerns of local residents.

I was responsible for the housing department from May 2010 to May 2013, with the many achievements developed during that time being well documented and which are having a real and positive impact on people’s lives.

During 2012 I set up a cross party group to work with Council officers to look at over 60 locations throughout the borough to investigate the potential of building new homes on disused sites. At that time we were looking for funding to build some urgently needed housing in Harrow. It is only the Labour Party that is talking about real investment in building affordable housing.

In February 2013, the Tenants and Leaseholder Representatives discussed a report that outlined some ideas on a variety of incentive schemes which could help to free up properties in the Council’s housing stock by offering cash incentives to tenants to move elsewhere, dependent upon the size of the property being vacated.

[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”40%”]”It is only the Labour Party that is talking about real investment in building affordable housing…”[/pullquote]For example, incentives of up to £20,000 could be offered to tenants wanting to move to an assured tenancy in a privately rented property or an incentive of up to £12,000 to move into a shared ownership property, which could be used to cover a deposit or pay legal fees. It was also reported that a system would need to be put in place to monitor any person who was given a cash incentive for moving abroad.

Funding for the schemes had been allocated within the Housing Revenue Account budget and the Councils financial strategy for the period 2013-14 to 2016-17 approved by Cabinet on 14 February 2013, and within the HRA business plan to 2018-19.

It is Cllr Barry Macleod-Cullinane who is reported as raising the incentives up to £38,000.

If he had actually read the reports during his time as the opposition spokesperson for Housing he would be able to make informed decisions rather than making vacuous statements.

Best Regards

Cllr Bob Currie

Former Portfolio Holder for Housing (Labour)

Harrow Council

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1 comment

  1. anon

    It’s good to know that Cllr Curry actually exists because many residents living in the Roxbourne Ward find it impossible to get a response from him. And who wrote this item for him? He seems always to read, with difficulty, from a script that has been prepared for him and declines to answer questions by offering replies that seem likely to be written by someone else.

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