Councils fight Boris' rent plan

Four London councils are seeking a judicial review of the Mayor's plan to allow rent for affordable housing to be set at up to 80% of the market price. Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Islington and Camden argue that the figure is too high.

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London councils challenge rent plans

Four councils are taking legal advice to challenge the Mayor over his decision to make renting more affordable. Boris Johnson wants to set rents at 80 percent of market prices for people who qualify for so-called affordable housing.

But Southwark, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Camden councils all say at that rate many of their residents will be priced out of their boroughs. Luke Hanrahan reports.

Boris' rent plan could price out average renters

According to figures from Southwark Council and the South East London Housing Partnership, allowing affordable rents to be set at up to 80% of market rates would price out the average earner in Southwark - one of the four boroughs applying for judicial review of the Mayor's plans.

  • Southwark Council say the average household income in their borough is £18,000 a year, which is a take home pay of £1250 per month.
  • Renting a two bedroom home in the area costs an average of £2007 every month, according to figures from the South East London Housing Partnership.
  • 80% of this would be £1605 a month - that's over £300 a month more than the average household brings in.


Your thoughts on the Mayor's rent plan

We asked for your views on Boris' plan for affordable rents, which means they can be set at up to 80% of the market rate.

So far, you've mostly been against the plans - some of your thoughts are below.

Join the debate by tweeting us @itvlondon or on facebook at

Dan Cavanagh on Facebook: "I feel in the next 10 to 15 years time, the poor will be forced out of London and the rich taking over,and i'm not the only one to say this."

Sharon Irvine on Facebook: "Affordable pricing should mean affordable to the average worker, not affordable to the rich businessman who wants a city/second home!It's just part of the ongoing plan to dive the "poor" people out of London..."

Mayor's office: rent controls would 'drive away investment'

Mayor Boris Johnson is standing firm on plans to allow a hike in affordable housing rents, despite facing a legal challenge from four London councils. Under his plans affordable rents can be set at up to 80% of the market rate for an area.

London Mayor Boris Johnson Credit: Reuters

"Rent controls across 33 different boroughs would simply have the negative effect of driving away vital investment and reduce the number of homes built" the Mayor's office said in a statement.

They said the result would be simply "exacerbating London's housing crisis."

Southwark Council hits back at Mayor's rent plan

Southwark Council have launched an attack on the Mayor's plan to charge up to 80% of the market rate for affordable housing rents.

Southwark are one of four councils - along with Tower Hamlets, Islington and Camden - that are applying for a judicial review to block Boris' plans.

"We are very keen to seek a judicial review of this decision.

"Maybe there are some areas of London where rent levels of 80% of market rent are affordable to most people, but they certainly aren't in Southwark.

"The implication of the mayor's decision is that councils will have little power to make sure new affordable housing is really, genuinely affordable for local people."

– Fiona Colley, Southwark Council


Boris' rent plan - what is it?

Mayor Boris Johnson is facing a legal challenge by four London councils over his new plan for affordable rents - so why are they so opposed to it?

Boris' plan means that rents for new affordable housing can be set at up to 80% of the market price for an area.

However, Southwark, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Camden councils say that in their boroughs, 80% of the market rent is still unaffordable for most people. They want the figure to be much lower - Southwark council says it currently sets affordable housing rents at just 40% of the market rate.

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