London is an expensive city, and Ealing is no different. The cost of living alongside the shortage of housing means that prices continue to rise whilst the demand for new homes is not going away. Low pay and insecure work contracts mean that more people are having to get by on less income.
These challenges are precisely why Ealing’s new leadership team have set out our vision and priorities for the coming years: Good, genuinely affordable homes, opportunities and living income, and a healthy and great place to live for all.
As part of this goal, we have set out to deliver 2,500 more genuinely affordable homes at council rent and London Living rent levels. This is an ambitious target that we need to meet if we are going to ensure the homes we build in the Borough are affordable for the people who need them most.
We are already working hard in nine neighbourhoods across the borough to make real improvements to the quality and standards of the homes we rent, and using the money we raise from homes for sale and shared ownership to rebuild our estates to ensure that they meet the needs of the future.
We are determined to do all we can to make our neighbourhoods great places to live. Ealing’s parks and green spaces are some of our best assets. Our sports and recreation facilities also play a key part in enabling everyone the opportunity to keep fit and stay healthy. Equally, we are going to work even harder to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour to keep residents safe.
No one should have to struggle to pay the rent or bills. Our commitment to helping people achieve decent living incomes means that whilst we continue to support people into work, we are also going to work even harder to increase the number of employers paying the London Living Wage, as well as growing jobs locally in Ealing. Our four well-established work clubs offer one-to-one support for anyone who needs a little help finding employment, training or volunteering opportunities.
For me, this is personal. I grew up in a council home. When my family went through a tough time, the council was there to put a roof over our heads and support my parent into training and then a decent paid job. Today, as I take over as the new cabinet member for housing, I’m determined to ensure that everyone should be able to get the same kind of opportunities my family did.
Over the coming months, I am looking forward to staying in touch. Through working together, residents, the council, employers and training providers, I’m confident that we can continue to build the pride I know we all share for our neighbourhoods and the Borough.
This article first appeared in the summer edition of Ealing Council’s tenant newsletter