The following article was published by the Romford Recorder on 20th April 2012. You can view the original here: www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/home/e-edition
‘Enough is enough,' says Labour hopeful during visit to Orchard Village
Ken Livingstone called for the Government to take action to tackle London's housing crisis during a visit to the former Mardyke Estate.
The mayoral candidate was joined by shadow housing minister Jack Dromey at the Orchard Village in Rainham on Thursday April 12.
Mr Livingstone said: "London is in the grips of a housing crisis.
"Rents are soaring, standards are declining and waiting lists continue to rise.
"All of these problems arise because of a failure to build new afffordable homes under the Tory mayor. Enough is enough."
The visit saw Ken going on a tour of the first phase of the regeneration of the notorious estate where 121 new homes have been built for rental as part of an £ 80 million regeneration. His plans include building more affordable homes and bringing back the 50 per cent of market rents ceiling.
Ken has also pledged to create a London-wide empty homes strategy and improve disability access in new homes.
If elected he says that he would encourage more joint working between councils, housing associations and housebuilders.
He said: "Building more affordable homes, along with cutting fares and restoring police numbers are commitments at the heart of my manifesto, reflecting the fact that these are the issues ordinary Londoners across the capital tell me matter to them the most."
His plans have been welcomed by Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas.
Mr Cruddas said: "People in Havering need help in times like these. We have a severe lack of affordable housing in the area and it's an issue which the Conservative mayor Johnson has totally failed to address."
The Leader of Havering Labour Party, Keith Darvill said that the plans were a "step in the right direction".
He said: "The Mardyke Estate is a good example of where the involvement of residents and the housing association have worked well, but it's not a case of one size fits all because in some areas of Harold Hill a similar scheme would not work."