In collaboration with the advocacy group Generation Rent, London’s Labour-affiliated Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has jointly called for a cap on rent within the city. A projection from Khan’s team warns that if private rents in London continue unregulated, they might escalate over £2,700 pcm by the subsequent year.
A collective proclamation, co-presented by Khan and Generation Rent’s CEO, Ben Twomey, accentuates the urgency of the situation. The Mayor asserts, “This data presents the most vivid argument for rent restrictions to date. Nearly one in three Londoners are private tenants, but they are continuously overlooked by a Government that dismisses their plight and fails to intervene swiftly, exposing them to potential further economic strain.”
“The citizens of London re-elected me with the assurance that I would advocate for rent regulation, a commitment I plan to honour tirelessly. My mission is to establish a more balanced, equitable, and thriving London through the construction of affordable homes and offering critical aid to Londoners amidst the cost-of-living crisis. It is high time the Government followed suit,” expresses the re-elected Mayor.
Additionally, Twomey, a previous Labour candidate in recent Police Crime and Commissioner elections, voices his concerns, “Escalating rents are pushing families towards poverty and homelessness, which is why we back the Mayor’s request for decentralised powers to stabilise rents. On average, a London tenant is spending 40% of their income directly on rent, and without intervention, there’s little sign of this situation improving.
“Rent controls alone won’t address the shortage of properties that enables landlords to demand high rents. To combat this, we also need a significant increase in the provision of social and affordable housing. The Mayor’s call for funding to maximise this provision in London is spot on. In the absence of action, Londoners will continue to grapple with astronomical rents, forcing crucial workers like nurses and teachers out of the city, thus draining our communities.”
Khan’s data indicates that nearly half, 49%, of children residing in privately rented homes are living in poverty.
Khan proposes, “Should a two-year rent cap be imposed, tenants could see an average savings of £3,374 – £887 in the first year and an additional £2,487 in the second year.”
He urges the government “to allocate the £4.9 billion required annually to construct the much-needed affordable housing, and to advocate for the ability to put a freeze on rents as an immediate protection for Londoners.”
However, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, Lisa Nandy, dismissed the idea of rent control if Labour wins in the upcoming General Election.
Speaking at a housing conference, Nandy described rent controls as a “temporary fix” that could potentially exacerbate homelessness. “With housing construction plummeting and buy-to-let landlords exiting the market, rent controls that reduce rents for some will likely render others homeless,” she cautioned the Housing 2023 industry professionals’ assembly.
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