Tackling the Housing Crisis in Wandsworth

“The installation of the Skypool in Nine Elms has once again drawn attention to how Wandsworth Conservative-run Council has prioritised the interest of developers but failed to meet local people’s needs.”

There are 3000 homeless children in Wandsworth. They need homes; we all need homes that Londoners can afford. But under the Conservatives, Wandsworth has failed to build the social homes we need; they’ve abandoned victims of the cladding crisis, and they’ve blocked our attempts to tackle homelessness.

That’s why the Labour Group brought a motion to the Council meeting on 21 July 2021 to tackle to the housing crisis in Wandsworth. But the Tories once again blocked us, filibustering the motion and ending the meeting before it could be heard. We’ll carry on changing Wandsworth for the better while they focus on gestures.

The motion was proposed by Aydin Dikerdem, our lead on Housing and Regeneration, and seconded by Simon Hogg. The text is as follows:

The installation of the Skypool in Nine Elms has once again drawn attention to how Wandsworth Conservative-run Council has prioritised the interest of developers but failed to meet local people’s needs. In particular, this council notes with regret:

a) 85% of the first 800 flats sold in Nine Elms went to overseas investors – nearly half from ‘high corruption risk’ jurisdictions. The scheme will provide historic low levels of social rent housing;

b) New Government planning rules threaten the character of our Town Centres in Balham, Putney, Tooting and Battersea;

c) Many local residents, whether tenants, leaseholders or shared owners, are trapped and incurring huge costs as a result of the cladding scandal and the Government’s subsequent slow action and lack of financial support post-Grenfell.

The housing crisis is pricing out local families, blighting our neighbourhoods and fuelling a homelessness crisis in a borough. This council therefore resolves to bring back harmony and balance to housing development in our borough, by:

a) Working closely with the GLA, housing associations and holding developers to account, so we deliver social rent homes for local people whilst increasing substantially their proportions in schemes already planned.

b) Taking urgent action to change the lives of the 3,000 homeless children who woke up this morning in Wandsworth council temporary accommodation. 

c) Lobbying Government to ensure it drops unhelpful changes to planning rules, which have been described as a ‘Developers’ Charter’, and would strip communities of their voice.

d) Lobbying Government to move more quickly to resolve the cladding and fire safety crisis, which is costing local people dearly.