Have your say on housing in Islington
By JulieGK | Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 11:51
This September, Islington Council will write to more than 30,000 tenants and leaseholders with voting papers for the forthcoming elections
Cllr Sidnell launches the housing ballot in Islington.
for residents champions and housing executive members.
The last time the authority's housing department
wrote to that number of residents was to seek views on the future of housing
management arrangements in 2011. That consultation led to Homes for Islington
(HFI) services coming back in house in April 2012.
With housing issues right at the top of national and
local agendas, Islington's ballot will create new structures which best
represent all those whose homes are owned and/or managed by the council.
Cllr Barbara Sidnell, executive member for
Communities, Islington Council said: "We want the very best for Islington residents and
for them to influence decisions about their housing.
"September's ballot for positions in the new
resident involvement structures will put residents at the heart of decision
making on the issues that affect them day-to-day.
"It's really important that residents vote. I want
everyone to get involved so whether you are a tenant or leaseholder and whatever
background, age or community you come from, you make your views count.
"Look out for the ballot paper with the distinctive
'key' logo coming in the post. Or check our website and estate notice boards
The new structures will reflect the residents' voice
on many day-to-day housing issues - such as who qualifies for housing priority,
anti-social behaviour and crime prevention, tenants and leaseholders rights,
repairs and how complaints are resolved if there's a problem.
Stressing that younger residents should also make
their views heard, Cllr Sidnell continued: "I believe you have to take a long term view with
housing matters. At 20, living in your parents' home, you might not think you
"But at 30 with a family of your own and facing
overcrowding, it may become the most important issue of your life."
During the Council's 2011 housing consultation,
residents said overcrowding and the chronic shortage of affordable housing in
the borough were the two biggest issues for them.
As a result, the authority now has ambitious plans
to address these two concerns. Islington will do this by rejecting the
government's '80% Market Rent' model, instead going it alone with its own
programme to build 2,000 new social homes at truly affordable, social rent.
Many of these family-sized homes will be available
to current borough residents through the Council's local lettings policy.
It is hoped the new resident involvement structures
will wrest more control for local people who could be affected by changes in
tenure and leases mooted by the government and welfare reforms coming into force
Drop-in sessions to meet the ballot candidates will
be held on September 6 at North Library, September 12 at Town Hall and
September 19 at St Luke's Centre.
To find out more about the 27 candidates for
residents' champion and housing executive positions and their policies and
priorities, go to: www.islington.gov.uk/housingelections