Yesterday we joined renters from across London to protest high rents and government subsidies for luxury apartments with a ‘housewarming party‘ in an east London show flat. We occupied the 27th floor apartment at Genesis Housing’s Stratford Halo, where two bedroom flats start from £1,700 per month.
Genesis is set to receive millions of pounds of subsidised loans from the government to build similar developments at three other sites around London – along with another 11 developers. In total £1bn of public money is being made available to build private rented properties across the country.
We think the cash would be far better spent on building social housing – we reckon around 10,000 new homes could be built on public land with the same amount of money, which would be recouped through rents and help reduce the housing benefit bill, vast amounts of which currently goes straight into the pockets of virtually unregulated private landlords.
And as for tackling high rents – we want the rent control that exists in countries from Germany to the US, and a form of which still exists here in the UK for those who have been tenants since the 1980s. If it persuades profiteering buy-to-let landlords to sell up, so much the better.
This is just the latest action from groups involved in London Renters, a coalition of private tenants groups working to support renters and campaign for an end to the raw deal currently facing us. Read more at letdown.org.uk.
Fancy getting involved? Drop us a line or come to our next meet-up.