Joe Ferreira, Bexley Labour Cabinet Member speaks on the Bexley housing crisis

At the end of last month, Bexley council agreed a new business plan for BexleyCo – a development company set up and owned by the council – which expects to deliver hundreds of new homes for the borough over the coming years.

Joe Ferreira, Labour

The establishment of BexleyCo was supported by all political parties, and it could provide a useful tool in tackling the housing crisis in Bexley.

The housing crisis is real, and it affects all of us. It affects younger people who cannot afford to get on the housing ladder or find proper affordable accommodation.

It affects young families cramped into overcrowded living conditions for punishingly high rents.

It affects our older residents, who after years of hard work still have grown-up children living at home, or who are unable to find suitable accommodation to meet their developing needs.

And while this crisis continues our communities are being transformed by unscrupulous landlords and developers who rent or sell below-par accommodation changing the character of our neighbourhoods.

To fix the housing crisis we have to start to think about development in a different way.

Proper housing is about more than just bricks and mortar – they are the places where we make our families’ memories, the communities that we grow our families in and the homes that we cherish.

As BexleyCo develops its plans, it must keep  residents and our communities front and centre.~
That means providing genuinely affordable housing – ones which our hard-working local residents can actually afford.

And it means providing the infrastructure to support our already stretched public services.

Too many large housing developments go up without appropriate consideration of the impact on our  local services – on our doctor’s surgeries, dentists and school places.

Only by maintaining a laser-like focus on local residents can we deliver not just the houses that we need, but the communities in which we want to live in.

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