Brent Council to launch legal challenge against affordable rents plan by Mayor of London

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London - Credit: Archant

Brent Council are planning legal action against the Mayor of London over his plans to set ‘affordable’ rent at 80 per cent of the market value.

Cllr Margaret McLennan

Cllr Margaret McLennan - Credit: Archant

Town hall bosses fear the prices would be hiked to a level that would drive people out of the borough.

Navin Shah

Navin Shah - Credit: Archant

According to housing charity Shelter, the average annual salary in Brent is £28,703 but residents will need to be earning £59,387 to afford the rent on a two-bedroom property in the borough.

The proposals called the ‘London Plan’ were passed by the London Assembly earlier this month.

Brent has teamed up with Islington, Hackney, Camden, Lambeth, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Southwark and Tower Hamlets to seek a judicial review on the proposals.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, Brent Council’s lead member for housing, said: “These targets are far from affordable for many Brent residents – the very people who the London Plan is meant to benefit.

“We are very concerned about what the Mayor’s policy will mean for those on low incomes in Brent.”

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Echoing Cllr McLennan’s concerns, Navin Shah, Labour London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow said: “The Mayor’s changes will make London’s housing crisis even worse.

“This is effectively giving up on ordinary Londoners on modest incomes by making it harder for them to find a home that is affordable.”

A spokesman for the Mayor, said: “The mayor is absolutely committed to maximising affordable housing delivery to help lower income working Londoners who would otherwise face higher housing costs in the private rented sector.

“Rents average 65 per cent across the programme, and all rents within housing benefit caps so that those who are reliant on housing benefit are able to claim it.

“The London Plan conforms with national planning policy. Rent controls across 33 different boroughs would simply have the negative effect of driving away vital investment and reduce the number of homes built - exacerbating London’s housing crisis.”