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Brent housing: Everything you need to know about Brent Council's plan for more homes

Brent has the fourth highest number of residents without permanent housing in England

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Protesters gather outside of Brent Council's Civic Centre

Brent is plagued by a shortage of permanent homes, according to local authority figures.

There are more Brent residents in Temporary Accommodation (TA) than nearly anywhere else in the country.

According to Brent Council 2,542 households were living in temporary accommodation in the borough from April to June 2017.

This means Brent housing authority has the fourth highest number of residents in TA in England.

While the number of families living in bed and breakfasts in Brent has reduced from 242 in April to June 2014 to 33 for the same period in 2017, there are still a large number of people without permanent homes.

The average wait for a two-bedroom council house in Brent is currently 10 years , with families in need of a four-bed or more having to wait at least 17 years.

Brent residents are expected to wait up to 17 years for a council home(Image: Ikran Abdullahi)

Brent Council's plan to provide more homes

In December 2016 the council founded, i4B Holdings Ltd- a local authority company set up to ease the TA crisis by acquiring private sector rented (PRS) accommodation to rent at affordable prices.

i4B set out to provide 300 units of private sector accommodation for the council to nominate homeless households.

As of January 2 2018, i4B has a portfolio of 251 properties. It has purchased 86, has 84 in conveyancing, 84 approved by the PRS panel and 81 under negotiation.

The first Brent PRS property, a four-bedroom family home in Neasden, was let in November 2017.

Less than half of the PRS properties, 133 of the 251, are located in Brent.

The rest are located in the home counties where property is cheaper and there is more space for larger homes.

An additional £3.5m is required in 2018 to 2019 if for more properties to be bought in Brent than in the home counties.

i4B's aims to ultimately own 180 homes in Brent and 120 in the home counties.

On Thursday (February 1) more than 100 residents attended a Temporary Accommodation Forum held by Brent Council.

Those a at the event were told about i4B and the properties it owns for private rental in and outside of Brent.

Councillor Harbi Farah, Brent cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, said: "Due to the nature of supply and demand for bigger properties in Brent, larger families face longer waits for social housing.

"We want to do all we can to make sure residents live in suitable accommodation with decent living conditions."

Residents who have been homeless for more than five years and who move into private rented accommodation are still entitled to bid for social housing through Brent's Locata housing system.

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