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Graham Awards


London Mayor hopeful backs protests to show 'rental market out of control'

The Green Party candidate for London Mayor says protests outside the MIPIM property conference have her backing as they highlight that London’s rental market is out of control.

Sian Berry says “the cost of private rent is out of control” and that she herself - the only Mayoral candidate who does not own her home - risks being priced out of the capital. 

“With rents averaging half of Londoners’ take-home pay, I have faced the steep increases every time I have needed to move, and often feel like I’m one rent rise away from being pushed out of London altogether” she claims.


She says successive governments are wrongly using public finances. 

“In 2013 the government subsidised landlords with £23.8 billion of housing benefit but spent less than £4 billion on supporting new affordable housing. Instead of providing homes for people at rents we can pay, our taxes are subsidising extortionate rents on a massive scale” says Berry.

She says cosy deals between councils and developers, producing what she considers to be too few affordable homes to let, should be stopped. 

“Londoners need more than the derisory quota of 11 per cent affordable homes as promised by the monster development at Earls Court – a scheme I have already pledged to cancel if I am elected mayor next May” she says.

  • Rob  Davies

    And she'd be exactly right. Don't expect the government to listen, though, their whole economy is built off high house prices and sky-high rents. If house prices actually started to come down to normal levels, the economy would tank and the poor would probably be blamed for, you know, wanting more affordable housing.

    Osborne knows that. If nothing else, he isn't stupid. He knows the only vague credibility he has is on the economy - 0.5% growth after 5 years is apparently the sign of a booming economy, but that's a whole separate argument - and if we fall back into another recession, he won't have Labour to blame this time.

    There are a lot of vested interests when it comes to property. Many at the very top will be quite happy for London to remain the plaything of the super-rich while ordinary workers are driven out, so it will take a brave person to change that. Sadly, the government doesn't have anyone who possesses such qualities, so it will be more spin about "affordable homes", Right to Build, Build to Rent and a load of other policies that don't tackle the problem at its root.


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