Housing or the lack of it is going to become a huge issue, not only in London but around the country, of that I am very sure. It became as a complete surprise to me yesterday, to learn that a group of private tenants pulled off what seems to have been a very successful demonstration/occupation.
The group of private tenants occupied a show flat at a development in Stratford to highlight soaring rent rates and the government’s failure to tackle the issue.
The group, called Let Down, claim rent across London have been rising at seven per cent per year. Newham Council, which has 21,000 people on its housing list, recently announced a shared equity scheme which will provide 1,200 affordable homes.
Let Down says rents in Stratford Halo start from £1,700 for a two bedroom flat, the minimum size needed for a family with children. Based on figures published by Shelter, these rents would only be affordable to families with an income of £76,000 or more. Stratford Halo is Genesis’ flagship development, overlooking the Olympic Park Renters’ protest group Let Down says rent levels at Stratford Halo are too high. The 43 storey tower is in one of London’s deprived areas but what's going on here?”. What was the Olympics for if not gentrification today highlighted as prices for housing are around the Olympic Park up and still rising.
So I say well done to all those who took part in yesterday protest of which we need more of and whatever else it takes to address the housing crisis.