Petition launched against plans to raise council home rents in Brent
PUBLISHED: 12:11 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 14:01 26 February 2014
Angry residents have started a petition to protest against proposed increases in rent and service charges for council homes.
The campaigners accuse town hall bosses of targeting some of the most vulnerable people in the community with proposals to raise rents by 4.39 per cent and service charges by 3.2 per cent.
Tenants and leaseholders face paying £250 – £300 more a year – if the plans are given the green light at a full council meeting on Monday.
Ibrahim Jahangir, 18, who lives with his parents and sister in Watling Gardens, Kilburn, said: “It is already hard for us to pay the rent and do basic shopping, so how do they expect us to pay more just to keep a roof over our heads?”
“It is unbelievable how they can go back on all the promises they made to help the vulnerable.
“Some of us can’t cope with the added pressure.”
Paul Edgeworth, Lib Dem councillor candidate for the Mapesbury ward, has spearheaded the petition which has already attracted more than 100 signatures against the increases.
He said: “These rent rises will hit some of the most vulnerable local residents hard, and could be avoided if Brent stopped wasteful spending and used the £1million it has saved from temporary accommodation costs to keep rents down.”
Cllr Margaret McLennan, Brent Council’s lead member for housing, told the Times the council is focused on helping those residents who are suffering.
She said: “That’s why we’ve endeavoured to keep rents for social housing as low as possible.
“The council has set out an ambitious plan to tackle the housing crisis in our borough by embarking on a house-building programme on a scale that it hasn’t seen in generations.
“Through our plan to construct 3,000 affordable homes by 2018, we will get Brent building again.”
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