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London MP calls for action with four out of five Londoners struggling to afford their rent




N MP has demanded government action after revealing “alarming” figures that four out of five tenants in London are struggling to pay their rent.

Labor MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Catherine West, said the stark data chimed with the struggles faced by her constituents.

A survey of 1,000 tenants in the capital by housing provider Dolphin Living revealed that inflation has made housing costs unaffordable for 28 per cent.

Another 52 percent reported a significant impact on their ability to pay rent, with only 20 percent saying they were able to manage or saw no change.


“These findings are alarming but not sad,” West said. “They reflect what I am seeing in my inbox, with people being hit by unaffordable rent increases of hundreds of pounds a month, and Section 21 no- if they complain or fail to pay. Get out fast with Fault eviction notices.”

It emerged this month that average rents in some parts of the capital have risen by more than 30 per cent in a year.

A Dolphin survey conducted in October found that more than a third of tenants in the capital were spending at least half of their take-home pay on rent.


A third of those who indicated that inflation has affected their ability to afford rent have taken on extra work. More than a quarter had borrowed money from an institution, family or friends.

More than one in 10 tenants affected by inflation had delayed rent payments.

‘Incredible pressure’


Dolphin Living chief executive Olivia Harris said rental costs were “undoubtedly the most incredible pressure in London”.

“We need policy makers to step up and address an issue that is affecting so many of us, particularly London’s vital workers who are disproportionately affected by rising housing costs,” she said.

“These workers went above and beyond to help us survive the pandemic and now it is our turn to support them by building more affordable rental homes in the city.”

Dan Wilson Craw, deputy director of campaign body Generation Rent, said the market for low- to moderate-income renters in the capital was “unbearable”,

“Rents have been rising over the past year and even if you are not looking to relocate, you may still be hit with a sudden, unaffordable rent increase,” he warned.

“If your income is not increasing, it is becoming increasingly difficult to afford to live near your place of work. The danger for Londoners is that there are jobs for key workers across the country, so teachers, health workers and Others will increasingly be tempted to relocate cities entirely, putting even more strain on our public services.

“We need a much greater effort from government to build homes where they are needed, a ban on landlords imposing unaffordable rent increases, and devolution of powers to the Mayor of London to control rents. “

‘Price Expired’

Siobhan Donachie, campaign officer for the London Renters Union, called for an immediate ban on the rent hike.

“It is unfair that a price is being imposed on people traveling to London during the pandemic,” she said.

“We need to get rents under control to keep key staff in the city and prevent further pressure on essential services.

“Rent regulations have the power to address the urgency and scale of our current rental crisis, providing greater affordability for millions of renters now and in the future.”

Ms Harris called for more homes to be made available at concessional rent levels.

“Intermediate rental housing can play an important role in alleviating the crisis,” she said. “It provides an alternative rental option for families with modest incomes, providing safe, affordable, good quality and well-managed homes at rents well below market.

“We hope the Government will realize that priority must be given to the delivery of subsidized rental housing in high-value areas, although the investment package will either create new supply or convert existing stock into homes for Londoners. “

‘The housing market is broken’

Labor MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Catherine West

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Ms West said: “It is almost four years since the government promised to bring in rent reform, we are still waiting and private tenants are living with insecurity, skyrocketing rents and often poor conditions.

“Our housing market is broken. London cannot function if vital staff cannot afford to live here and it will only be with truly affordable council housing that we so desperately need – and rental reform.

Ministers publish plans to ban so-called “no fault” section 21 eviction last summer but the law has not yet been passed.

A government spokesman said today: “We are providing vital support to help people through this difficult time by stopping energy bills and delivering up to £1,350 in direct cash payments to millions of vulnerable households.

“Ensuring a fair deal for tenants remains a priority for the Government, so we will deliver on our commitment to end Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.”

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