Lambeth Renters criticise council plans for new private rented homes in Brixton

Lambeth Renters welcomes the council’s commitment to keep the land on Brixton’s Somerleyton Road in public ownership, and build new homes on it. But we’re alarmed that only 40 per cent of it is planned to be let at council rents, with the rest at unaffordable market rents.

According to figures available on the website for the project, the development’s two bedroom flats will be rented at £335 a week – over £17,000 a year. According to Shelter, these rents would only be affordable to families with an annual income of over £62,000. The average household income in Lambeth is £31,000.

As part of London Renters, a coalition of private tenants groups from across the capital, we oppose efforts to build more privately rented housing which is unaffordable to all but the wealthiest, and which only 6 per cent of renters would live in if they had a choice.

If there is a need for housing to be subsidised, this should be done through general taxation, rather than this burden falling on a particular segment of the population who have little other option but to pay market rents, while those living in mansions elsewhere in the country contribute nothing.

We are disappointed that, on a site where the council already owns the land (which is a major cost of new housing, particularly in London), Lambeth is not proposing to provide a greater proportion of genuinely affordable housing, particularly when the borough has a social housing waiting list of over 20,000 households.

We urge Lambeth Council to reconsider its plans for the housing on this site, and investigate financial models which would enable all the housing to be let at social rents.

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4 Responses to Lambeth Renters criticise council plans for new private rented homes in Brixton

  1. sajeraj says:

    Reblogged this on The Rent Book.

  2. Matt Cox says:

    Problem with council rents:

    Who gets the property – what criteria?
    Those criteria are then mimicked by some who don’t have them eg single parents
    How long do they have the property for? If for a lifetime, then this is worth millions of pounds over a 60 year period. That’s very unfair on those who don’t qualify and pay market rates..
    It hinders mobility and therefore limits job prospects, ability to care for family member far away – people who can’t move are a burden on society,
    It leads to sub-letting – and illegal renters don’t make the best neighbours because they don’t want to be identified.

    Overall, better to let council rents rise over time to the market rate and at the same time let housing benefit fall to zero.

    • yippeee333 says:

      Certainly if you want mass homelessness, then this would be a great idea. If you think that decent housing is a basic right, then it’s not.

      I’d like council housing to be like the NHS in that everyone who wanted it could access it (this could be paid for by rents that pay off the building costs over time, or by higher taxation). This would deal with most of your concerns.

  3. Pingback: Lambeth Renters activist group criticises Lambeth Council’s plans for new private rented homes in Brixton

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