London Living Rent homes in attempt to save middle-market from a cycle of debt and rent

1.3 million private renters are struggling to pay their rent, according to figures released by Shelter this month.

It found that middle-income earners can be forced into a cycle of debt and rent, and are unable to save to buy their own homes.

To help ordinary, working young people and families, the charity is calling on the new government to build half a million homes at ‘living rent’ prices during the next parliament.

Carl Quilliam, Liberal Democrat candidate for Wimbledon said: “In London in particular we have to do as much as we can to help bring down the sometimes eye-watering rents charged to private renters.

“In places like Battersea, and the Wimbledon Stadium development closer to home, the challenge isn’t where to build the homes but in making sure more of those homes are truly affordable for people.”

Living rent homes will offer both secure and affordable housing for middle-income earners, with tenancies of a minimum of three years, and the option to buy on a shared ownership basis during the tenancy.

Under the London Living Rent scheme, rent prices will vary according to location but are benchmarked at around a third of the average local household incomes for each ward.

This aims to encourage people to save with a view to buy their own homes within a decade.

London Living Rent

Merton Green Party spokesperson Tom Killick said: “We want to introduce some form of rent control as we take the view that private rents are completely unaffordable at the moment.

“There is no reason why renting shouldn’t be an affordable, secure, long-term option.”

“Shelter’s aim is achievable, but it depends on landowners and developers as well as councils.”

London renters with a maximum household income of around £60,000 (based on a two-bedroom living rent home in London’s most expensive ward — Queen’s Gate, Kensington and Chelsea), who are currently unable to buy through shared ownership, or other means, are eligible for London Living Rent homes.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has secured over £3bn government funds to start building at least 90,000 living rent homes under the Homes for Londoners: Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21.

Other schemes available to those on lower or higher incomes include London Affordable Rent for low-income households and London Shared Ownership.

Featured image courtesy of Escario Méndez, with thanks

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