Is Sadiq Khan about to make London rents affordable?

Posted by
Harriet Hall

Sadiq Khan has already made some strong moves as London Mayor: the Night Tube, the Hopper Bus pass and now -he might just be making living in the city and not going bankrupt a slight possibility.

The London Mayor has announced the launch of a London Living Rent scheme – which should make rents affordable for people in low or middle-income households.

Under the new scheme, new-build affordable homes will be developed. Households with an average income of between £35,000 and £45,000 would be able to rent a two-bed flat for below £1,000 per month. 

As it stands, average monthly rents for that size flat are around £1,450 a month – although data from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme indicates that the average rent for a new tenancy in the city this summer was, in fact, closer to £1,800 a month.

Khan hopes that the lower rents will enable people to save for a deposit to buy their own home, while renting.

The scheme has already started, and Khan has begun collaborating with housing associations and councils to ensure they set aside development to fit in the scheme.

Sadiq Khan

"Hello, London? It's Sadiq. I'm saving you."

The borough of Hackney has pledged to be the first to build 500 homes for the scheme, with the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, saying:

“Hackney is already building more social housing than anywhere else in the capital, but it’s also vital that there are more homes which Londoners on middle-incomes can afford to rent and buy. The London Living Rent will help people who work hard but are getting priced out of our city.”

London Mayor, Khan, says that while “fixing London’s housing crisis won’t happen overnight, we need to do everything we can to help Londoners who are struggling to pay their rents.”

Additionally, Khan wants to put an end to social housing being rented at higher prices privately.

However, members of the opposition aren't convinced, with the conservatives deeming the scheme "another feat of illusion," with the Conservative planning spokesperson telling the BBC that "The only way to slow down the increase in rental prices is to build far more homes."

Additionally, Sian Berry, the London Assembly member for the Green Party said London needed something "more sophisticated" than Khan's plan, which she believes risks people "being left behind."