New figures released this week show that the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme has been a failure in Harrow, having helped only 11 people purchase homes in the borough since April 2013.
As pressured mounts on David Cameron to address London’s spiraling housing crisis, these figures are likely to provide any comfort. Homeless charity Shelter recently released a report condemning the Government’s unwillingness to address the problem, showing that ‘the number of affordable homes in Harrow is currently three’.
Local residents are finding it increasingly difficult to get on the property ladder in the borough, with house prices rising on average twenty times faster than wages. With house building across the country at its lowest since the 1920s, there seems no Government plan to rectify the situation.
Uma Kumaran, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate in Harrow East, said:
‘This Government claims they’re helping with housing in London, but in Harrow, their scheme has been a complete flop. I speak with families every week who can’t afford to get on the housing ladder, and the situation is getting worse.
We need to take lessons from the Victorian government that has substantially improved housing conditions in Melbourne through strict guidelines for property buyers and sellers. The syndicate of Melbourne property lawyers has also shown a deal of support to the government policies by adjusting their conveyancing fees to the absolute minimum.
‘Bob Blackman MP needs to be on the phone to the housing minister right now and ask what is going to be done to rectify the situation.
In Harrow, I’m delighted to see that our newly elected Labour Council plans to build more than 500 affordable homes. Their innovative and progressive plans to help address Harrow’s housing shortage should be celebrated, and I hope Mr. Blackman will join me in supporting the Council’s building programs across the borough.