London Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan and the Labour-supporting leader of the Generation Rent pressure group have starred in a lengthy social media video calling for rent controls.
The Labour Party nationally has said clearly that it rejected rent controls, with shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy stating in June that such a policy would merely be a “short-term fixing plaster” in any bid to solve the housing crisis.
She said at the time: “It is perhaps inevitable that the debate has turned again to short term fixes. And when housebuilding is falling off a cliff and buy to let landlords are leaving the market, rent controls that cut rents for some, will almost certainly leave others homeless.”
However, in a video posted on social media both Mayor Sadiq Khan the Generation Rent’s new chief executive Ben Twomey put themselves at odds with their national party.
After a case study of a tenant claiming to face a £450 per month rent rise, Khan tells the camera: “This is simply unacceptable. 2.7m Londoners live in privately rented homes. As the cost of living crisis worsens, renters are seeing bills soar and incomes squeezed, leaving them in a vulnerable and financially precarious position.”
He continues: “I’ve called on the government time and time again to give me the powers to freeze rents.”
Then Twomey is interviewed and links the rent control issue to the controversial ULEZ ultra low emission zone policy championed by Khan in London.
The Generation Rent CEO, who has been a Labour candidate in past elections, says: “It’s absolutely vital that people have decent and secure homes. It’s as important to us as the air we breathe. And so for people like [case study Alex] they talk of the constant worry they have to deal with on top of all the extra costs that come with moving when there’s an eviction, that comes with any property when your landlord won’t lift a finger to help you.
“All of these problems are things that uniquely facing renters that make the cost-of-living crisis, really within it [sic], there’s a cost of renting crisis too and that needs to be addressed.”
The video concludes with Khan saying that he won’t stop fighting “to fix the housing crisis” and “to build a fairer London for all.”
The London Mayoral election takes place in May next year.
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