Thursday, 17 November 2011

Local Rents massive increase call for rent freeze

Local Rents at Record High The average rental in Deptford and New Cross is now £200 per week, while a 2 bed flat costs £250 -£400 per week and 3-4 bed flats start at £400 per week, and this is in an area where the average wage is just £24,500 per year. When the new Universal Credit comes in next year and councils are told to charge 80% of market rent for all new council tenants, we will be in the bizarre position of seeing the 17.0000 people in most need on Lewisham's housing list unable to get a council flat because they cannot afford it! Even more alarming are Labour's plans only to give council flats to people who are working. What about residents who are pensioners, disabled, in education, or recently unemployed? In the meantime, council rents have already increased by over 100% since Labour have been running (or failing to run) Lewisham. It really is no surprise that council tenants are talking about rent strikes as they are already unable to keep up with the recent increases. Lewisham People Before Profit continues to campaign to have local empty council buildings turned into new council homes or housing co-ops, to oppose the sell-off of land and other buildings which are needed to meet the rising demand for housing, and to battle with Lewisham Council with respect to new developments, where we insist that they must include the full 35% of social housing. We also demand that, when a builder gets planning consent, they include a sufficient proportion of homes that are genuinely affordable by local people who earn an average wage of £24,500, and that the council actually does something to deal with overcrowded homes, to enable house swaps and to free up larger properties for families.
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