Throughout its history, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, has been economically diverse. People with regular jobs, like nurses, teachers and IT professionals cannot afford to live in RBKC because there is not enough social or middle-income housing. In the past decade, the council has taken money rather than making sure developers built affordable housing. This has led to many new houses being created that are targeted at the investment market, often left empty, making RBKC feel sometimes like a ghost town. Short term thinking like this is not the way to plan for the future of a community. There needs to be a vision and a plan for RBKC.
Housing for people of average income is fundamental to the health and prosperity of individuals, communities, and the country. We have to be innovative and address structural problems so people who were born in our community can stay here. The council needs to build more housing for present and future residents of RBKC.
Building and Management Innovation
- Create a new K&C Housing Vehicle to replace the Kensington and Chelsea Tenancy Management Organisation (KCTMO). The vehicle will be based on participation, engagement, collaboration, and sense of ownership by tenants. We think a Community Land Trust vehicle or a 51% Council owned and a 49% Alternative Investment Market (AIM) share vehicle are worth consideration.
- This vehicle will allow RBKC to build homes. With this structure there can be a guaranteed long-term rentals, along with private capped sales to specific income bracket (lower to middle earners) and for ‘home grown’ RBKC residents.
- Hire an urban planner to work within the council and residents to develop a plan for necessary social housing, public institutions and public space, and economic development.
- In the short term, broaden the remit of planning to consider the impact of construction and renovation on the immediate area.
- Devolve the analysis of planning issues to four locally based planning committees.
- Long term: Broad public participation in planning review and demographic analysis to develop a vision for RBKC that can act as a blueprint for planning decisions.
Community comes first
- Absent landlords should contribute to the community by paying higher council taxes.
- At a National level, we will lobby for change in Council Tax banding for RBKC.