Sir Robin Wales
Senior Adviser on Local Government, Skills and Housing
Sir Robin Wales was the leader of Newham Council 1995-2002 and then elected Mayor from 2002-16, chair of the association of London Government (now London Councils) 2000-06, a Board member of LOCOG (the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Games) and was knighted for services to local government in 2000. While in Newham he introduced the first Borough wide private rented sector licensing scheme, established a housing association, Local Space, which now provides homes for 1800 homeless families and established and chaired Red Door Ventures, a local authority owned housing company with the aim of building and retaining high quality housing.
Many of the most valued and important frontline public sector workers like police officers, teachers, NHS staff and firefighters are struggling to live in or near the community they serve. They often face acute housing affordability challenges which force them to commute from ever further away, particularly in the rental sector and particularly in London and the South East. In this report we argue the Key Worker Housing initiative should be revitalised as part of reforms to Affordable Housing policy. The Government should announce a new policy programme to increase the stock of homes available to Key Workers struggling with housing costs and update the Key Worker eligibility criteria.
The housing crisis will only be solved if the developers of new homes place more emphasis on design and style to gain the support of existing communities, according to exclusive new polling for Policy Exchange.