Brent Central parliamentary candidates had the chance to meet their electorate on the 15th of April.
Among the questions presented during the hustings, there was this one:
– I arrived in London from Nigeria in 1967. I am happy with Brent, but now I am homeless. Given the lack of social houses, what do you propose in order to have a house in the local area?
Shahrar Ali – Green Party
Brent has suffered more than other boroughs for housing. The Green Party candidate, in particular, mentioned the damages brought by the “bedroom tax”. What a Green Party parliament would do is to raise the number of houses available, with reasonable levels of rent.
John Boyle – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
What the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is going to do for Brent is renovation, new buildings, and, therefore, the creation of more jobs.
Dawn Butler – Labour Party
“We need to build more houses. That is the only way to solve the housing problem.” The Labour candidate said it is not only a matter of regulating the market, but the need for more houses.
Lauren Keith – Liberal Democrats
More affordable houses is what Brent needs. Lauren Keith said they will change the current rent policies, to provide a rent-home scheme. “The council need to take more responsibilities to get affordable houses.”
Kamran Malik – Communities United Party
“Housing is a very important issue for this country.” According to Mr Malik, foreign investors come to buy the houses, the same houses that are “not affordable to the local people.” The candidate said that social housing costs less. And if such strategy has not been used until now, is because the current councillors are investors, “they do not care.” The Communities United Party promised to cut these costs.
Alan Mendoza – Conservative Party
“The problem is we cannot build new houses in this country,” Mr Mendoza said. The conservative party has already built many new houses, but what they will do is to make more affordable the ones that already exist.
Stephen Priestley – UK Independence Party (UKIP)
“For me, the house is a fundamental human right,” said the UKIP candidate. Council needs to invest huge amount of money to make houses more affordable. The rent market also need to be looked.
For the other topics treated during the hustings:
The full list of candidates is available here.