London mayor Sadiq Khan has laid out plans for a London Living Rent – a new initiative intended to drive down rents in the capital
Khan said he would introduce the new type of tenancy agreement for newly-built affordable homes in London, working with housing associations and councils.
He said he wanted to kickstart a new house-building progamme to provide homes earmarked for the new tenancy agreements, which, he said, will allow low and middle-income families ‘an alternative to renting privately so they can get by and save for a deposit’.
Philip Glanville, the newly-elected mayor of Hackney, pledged in his election manifesto that his borough would be the first to build 500 homes for London Living Rent.
London Living Rents will be based on a third of average household incomes in each borough and will be offered only to low and middle-income households currently renting in the private sector.
If implemented across London, those taking up the scheme would see the average rent paid for a two-bedroom flat drop from £1,450 to below £1,000, according to a press release issued by the London Mayor’s office.
Khan, who was visiting David Adjaye’s Sugar Hill housing scheme in New York when he made the announcement, said: ‘We know that fixing London’s housing crisis won’t happen overnight, and we need to do everything we can to help Londoners who are struggling to pay their rents.’
The mayor also said he wanted to protect London’s stock of social housing and pledged to work with housing associations to put an end to so-called ‘rent conversions’ – where existing social housing is re-let at higher rents.
David Montague, chief executive of L&Q and chair of the G15, which represents London’s 15 biggest housing associations, said that the G15 was committed to making London ‘more affordable’.
He added: ‘We want to provide new homes in a way which doesn’t involve setting rents beyond the reach of ordinary Londoners.
‘This can be achieved as part of a mainstream grant-funded affordable housing and regeneration programme in which housing associations retain flexibility over rents and asset management.’
More details of the London Living Rent programme will be released in the coming months.
Adjaye Associates’ Sugar Hill housing scheme