Tom Copley AM yesterday (Tuesday) accepted a petition from tenants calling on their housing association Peabody to stop escalating their rents, which have risen by 36% in just four years. Peabody bought four estates housing keyworkers across London in 2011 from the Crown Estate. The estates in Victoria Park in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, Cumberland Market in Camden, Milbank in Westminster and Lee Green in Lewisham contain 1,200 homes.
Despite assurances at the time of the sale that rents would be kept affordable, since 2011 rents have increased so someone who previously paid £650 per month now has to pay £884 a month. At a time of stagnant wage rises and increases in the cost of living residents simply cannot afford this. The petition signed by over 1,000 people calls for a meeting with senior staff at Peabody, a 12 month freeze on further increases and a review of their rent policy.
Tom Copley AM, Labour Londonwide Assembly Member and Housing Spokesperson said:
“It is deeply worrying to see yet more key workers in London being priced out of the city as the term affordable bears little relation to reality. I’ve written to the Chief Executive of Peabody urging him to meet with residents and review their policy of hiking rents on these properties’’
“Residents have been expected to find an extra £234 a month over four years. How are people supposed to be able to find this money and be left with enough to afford essentials like heating, food and transport costs. Both Peabody and the Mayor of London speak about ‘affordable’ housing, but residents are being really squeezed by ever rising rents. These increases are simply not sustainable’’.