Cap rents for key workers, says campaign group

Cap rents for key workers, says campaign group

0:02 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago 26

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Key workers in London are struggling to afford the high rents in the city and a rent cap is needed, says one campaign group.

A report from Generation Rent highlights how much key workers are struggling as it calls for all metro mayors – including London’s Sadiq Khan – to be elected in England in May to control rents to help key staff.

The campaign group’s report analysed the median rent for a one-bedroom home in each of London’s 32 boroughs and compared it to the average income of 15 key and essential worker roles, such as teachers, nurses, carers, cleaners and bus drivers.

The findings show that none of the boroughs in inner London were affordable for any of the roles, and that only four roles – primary teachers, secondary teachers, community nurses, and painters and decorators – could afford to rent in any of the boroughs in Greater London.

‘Being driven out of our city because of soaring rents’

The group’s chief executive, Ben Twomey, said: “Just a few years ago we were clapping on our doorsteps every week for key workers. Now they risk being driven out of our city because of soaring rents.

“For communities to survive, local people must be able to stay healthy, receive an education, find a safe home to live in and purchase basic goods.

“But, if those working in vital jobs cannot afford to live in the area, everyone loses out.”

He added: “The current cost of renting crisis is devastating London’s communities.

“It is vital that England’s metro mayors have the power to slam the brakes on local rents and give our key workers the breathing space they need to live and work in their community.

“It is also vital that the mayor and the government build more affordable homes in the capital and increase how much social housing is available.”

Calculated the average percentage of income spent

Generation Rent says that a home is considered affordable if it costs 30% or less of your income and it has calculated the average percentage of income spent on rent for the 15 roles:

  • 106% for teaching assistants
  • 100% for kitchen assistants
  • 97% for cleaners and sales assistants
  • 91% for pharmacy assistants
  • 90% for receptionists
  • 86% for hairdressers
  • 82% for care workers
  • 76% for chefs
  • 66% for painters and decorators
  • 63% for bus drivers
  • 56% for community nurses
  • 49% for primary teachers
  • 46% for secondary teachers.

Average rent was more than the entire salary

The report also found that for the five lowest-paid jobs, there were four boroughs – the City of London, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster – where the average rent was more than the entire salary.

Teaching assistants faced the most severe affordability issues, with the most affordable borough being Sutton, where they would still spend 62% of their income on rent, and the least affordable being Westminster, where they would need 145% of their income to cover the rent.

The report comes ahead of the London Mayor election in May, where Generation Rent is calling on the candidates to pledge to cap rents and boost the supply of social housing in the city.

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Gas man

7:44 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Those percentages are based on their pay, so why not ask the employers to up their wages to bring it down to your 30% stated figure, and don't moan (I know you will), when their prices go up to compensate.
No mention of interest rates rising? Maybe ask the banks to drop their interest rates, but you won't because you know they hold all the cards and you would rather campaign against, on the whole, decent landlords who are struggling to pay their mortgages!

Frank Jennings

7:56 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

So it's the PRS landlords fault that wages have not kept up with inflation? What else are PRS Landlords going to be blamed for? The rain? The climate? Everything?
If people can't afford the rents being charged, then they should demand that the govenment build more houses for them. That's the only real way that will lower rents. It's a supply and demand market. Less supply, and more demand, and the rents go up. More supply and the rents go down. Its simple 101 economics.
As more and more PRS landlords are exiting the PRS market, there is less PRS housing available. Why are landlords leaving? The Section 24 unfair tax rules, ending Section 21, so landlords cant get their property back more easily, new RRB being brought in, that is unfair to landlords, buy2let mortgages going up making the PRS unprofitable. In fact all these measures are making the PRS an unprofitable business, and many have left because they were making a loss! That's how bad landlords have been victimized by this government over the last 10 years.
They are deliberately destroying the PRS. So you want an affordable home to live in? Then lobby your MP to make the govenment build more housing. Simples!
Infact I think its going to get much harder for tennants in the next 5 and 10 years. It will take a monumental change to turn this behemoth of a ship around, and will cost billions, which is why the govenment has not done it already. They can't afford it. Builders can't afford it, because the hoops they have to go through, and the costs has strangled any profit in it. Rest assured if there was a profit in it, builders would be working their socks off to chase the profits, but they aren't. The economy has been messed about with so much, and the system rigged so much and to hide all the bad news for political reasons, that the system is broken beyond any repair, without a major reset. I can see it coming, and it's just going to get much worse before it gets any better.


8:20 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Cap mortgage rates AND offer 25 year terms AND and retract section 24 AND Awe have a deal.

There are ways to stability, at present Gov has all its fingers and borrowed fingers in PRS.

Cider Drinker

8:39 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Perhaps the campaign groups could get together, pool their massive resources and buy expensive houses to let out cheaply. After all, they are the ones claiming to be charities.


8:50 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

If housing was provides by the government knock yourself out, cap all you want. Perhaps we should also have id cards so the prices these groups pay for goods and services is also discounted by the same amount from other private companies, thus food purchases, insurance, entertainment ect. Put that into law and then I’m all in.


9:15 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

It's pointless landlords complaining because it will happen, whatever we say.

The only way politicians will take notice is when there is no housing for those who can't afford it, and the only way that happens is by landlords voting with their feet and their money. That's been happening for 5 years, and is accelerating.

We will need to house another 5m by 2030! Where? How? Arguably, we are already at the point where there isn't sufficient affordable housing, with councils forced to prioritise housing for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

I'm not saying there won't be any private sector landlords left, but they will be large portfolio and institutional BTR landlords, who will be able to pick and choose who they house.

Frank Jennings

10:28 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Well the Elephant in the room is inflation, but no real increase in wages in the last 25 years. Inflation has cancelled the small wage increases, if there were any.
My old job in IT hasn't increased in salary at all. In fact it's gone down if anything. My job is advertised £5k or £10k less than 25 years ago, and taking devaluation of the pound currency into account too, it is much less in real terms! However, rents, house prices, the value of gold, has all gone up by as much as 3 to 10 times. I bought my house for £230k in 2005. Now its valued at £700K. Who can afford to pay that mortgage on £35k per year salary? Answer: Nobody!
Another way of looking at it, is to say that the value of things have all gone up, while the value of the pound has gone down. So the solution to all the high prices is to double or triple peoples wages, and increase the level where anyone starts to pay any tax. Also to tax the less well off less and to tax the super rich much much more. Funny how that policy never seems to be on any political agenda, despite it being the ultimate vote winner, one would have thought!


10:48 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Frank Jennings at 22/02/2024 - 10:28
The Elephant in the room is the uncontrolled increase in population! We cannot build sufficient housing to accommodate what we have, let alone another 5m by 2030.

Yes, inflation is a problem, but with better government and Bank of England decision making, we could be close on the heels of the US now. But I'm still looking for this 'cost of living crisis'. Who does it affect most? Because we've just had a week in Dubai to visit my Son, and thought we'd try Newcastle Airport rather than the awful Manchester. We assumed it would be less busy, but our Emirates flight was full, including plenty of young families. My Daughter-in-law works for Emirates, and says their passenger numbers are close to their very highest before lockdown, and they can't recruit and train fast enough.

I see you've raised the old chestnut about 'taxing the rich'. Well, first you need to decide who is 'rich', and it probably isn't the super-rich who will be caught, because they can take their money elsewhere.

We need a strategy for growth, which means lower taxes. Not what we have today. In many ways Truss was right, and I'm sure if Sunak had said it, the markets would have gone along with him.


11:10 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

If keyworkers have the right to demand a capped rent, then no-one will rent to them. Is this a serious proposal from GR?

northern landlord

11:22 AM, 22nd February 2024, About 2 months ago

The solution is not to cap rents that will drive landlords out and make the situation even worse. The PRS is not a housing charity (but provides more homes than any housing charity) . Let’s face it nobody wants to build houses that will have to be rented out at a loss, so while the ideal solution is to flood the market with cheap affordable housing to bring prices down nobody is going to do it. Realistically if rents are virtually 100% of some key worker salaries you are not going to get many job applications leading to unfilled vacancies
We are told there are a million jobs vacant but if many don’t pay enough to live on, who in their right mind would apply for them? No wonder Cities are seeing shortages. The only solution if you want key workers is to pay them enough to live in in the areas where they are needed. While a care worker may be able to live on a typical £23,000 salary in some places with rent taking up 30% of earnings a London rent would take up 82% of earnings so a salary boost to around £57,500 would be needed for the same care worker to live in London based on rents alone.
As with all things in life if you want it you have to pay for it, you can’t expect others (landlords in this case) to do it for you.

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