Camden Labour are at serious risk of failing to deliver their key housing promises, on account of slow progress under its flagship Community Investment Programme (CIP).
In the last year, the CIP has delivered just 54 homes. At that rate, it’ll take half a century to finish the project.
Instead of Camden managing the big developments and construction firms managing the small ones, Camden should focus on the small-scale parts of the programme and leave big builds to those that have experience of delivering them: a point made repeatedly by my colleague Cllr Don Williams.
But Labour’s failure to deliver the CIP on time is just the tip of the iceberg. Camden Council has failed miserably to deliver the homes that residents need.
In 2014, Labour’s top manifesto promise was to deliver 6,000 new homes: half of which would be affordable. This was an ambitious target that Labour haven’t come close to delivering.
Since 2014, fewer than 1,000 homes have been built in Camden: just one third as many as in Conservative-run Barnet. That’s a quarter of the rate that Labour promised, meaning the majority of families that want a home can’t get one.
The Cabinet member for planning confirmed earlier this year that just a quarter of those homes have been affordable – and under a fifth of homes awaiting approval are. So not only are Labour failing to build homes, but the homes they are building are unaffordable.
The Government has taken action to stop anti-housing councils like Camden from exacerbating their housing crises. Labour have railed against the new law because it requires at least a fifth of developments to be affordable for new buyers: creating a basic provision below which boroughs like Camden – where all affordable housing in total awaiting approval is less than that – cannot fall.
Where rogue councils like Camden fail to deliver the homes their residents need, it’s right that the Government steps in.
Update: This has been covered in this week’s Ham & High.