An episode of the Channel 4 series “How to get a council house”, which showcased
the work of Tower Hamlets Housing Options Service last year, will be repeated
again tonight (Monday, July 27) at 9pm.
The episode focuses on the work the council does around homelessness. The work
of former Service Head of Housing Options, Colin Cormack, is featured in this
documentary – along with officers from his service.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said: “It is great to see this documentary,
which showcases the hard work of our colleagues in the Housing Options team,
getting another airing.
“It is also timely. I am concerned about the impact the government’s latest budget
may have in Tower Hamlets. The combination of freezing some benefits and cutting
others will impact adversely on our most vulnerable residents.
“The government’s decision to limit child tax credits and universal credit (UC) to two
children will cause financial difficulties to larger families on low incomes in Tower
Hamlets – including those already in work. This initiative makes it harder for families
already struggling on low wages and will undermine our local efforts to support
“We have a number of families living in temporary accommodation that will be
negatively affected by the benefit cap. As the reduction would come from their
housing benefit, this will impact on the affordability of their current accommodation –
placing further pressure on discretionary housing payments.
“The reduction in housing benefit will also place stress on permanently housed
housing benefit households – and could potentially increase arrears and
An average of 2.1 million people watched each episode of the documentary series,
climbing to a peak of 2.4 million by the end of each episode.
Tower Hamlets Council staff, and their professionalism in the face of challenging
circumstances, received positive reviews from a range of national media outlets.
The series also created a Twitter storm of debate about the implications for people in
need of social housing across the UK. Leading journalists and a wide range of the
public also commented on the issues affecting social housing in the UK.