Brent Council faces wait for outcome of High Court challenge over ‘affordable rents’

Brent Council faces a wait to find out the outcome of their High Court challenge against the Mayor of London’s bid to increase the rates of ‘affordable rents’.

Under the changes announced by Boris Johnson, new ‘affordable’ homes could charge rents of up to 80 per cent of the market rate.

Brent teamed up with Islington, Camden, Enfield, Greenwich, Lambeth, Southwark, Hackney and Tower Hamlets to try and halt the Revised Early Minor Alterations (REMA) proposals which are part of the London Plan.

The boroughs argued that the new rents will be unaffordable for many local people and the Mayor of London was wrong to treat London as a single housing market, when there are in fact many different housing markets across the city.

Judgment has been reserved for several weeks following a two-day hearing which ended last Friday.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, Brent Council’s lead member for housing, said: “We are becoming increasingly concerned about how rising rents are making parts of the borough less and less affordable for local people on low incomes and the Mayor of London’s proposals would make it impossible for many people affected to stay in Brent.

“This legal challenge is just one of a number of measures Brent Council is taking to help provide more decent, affordable homes for local residents.”

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The Mayor’s plans runs contrary to the advice of an independent Government-appointed Planning Inspector, who recommended that boroughs should keep their powers to set rents in new affordable housing.

Existing council tenancies and the majority of housing association tenancies will be unaffected.