Tenants throw down challenge to East End social landlords on rents

Social landlords in London’s deprived East End are being challenged to protect tenancies, rents, benefits—and to build homes to rent that are genuinely ‘affordable.’

The challenge came at the East End’s first tenants’ conference in 30 years on Saturday, when a Residents’ Charter was set up calling on landlords to recognise their independent and democratically-representative associations.

Delegates from 30 estates at the conference at Poplar heard that only one-in-five new homes is really affordable and for rent.

“Record overcrowding and homelessness is rising again, with 23,000 on the waiting list in the East End,” said the federation’s Chair Phil Sedler.

“Tenants are getting organised to fight for the homes we need—not the luxury housing we can’t afford.”


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Tower Hamlets councillor Rabina Khan and Poplar Harca housing association’s Joan Murphy were questioned on the loss of secure, genuinely-affordable tenancies, leaseholder charges, housing benefit cuts and whether tenants voices were really heard.

Cllr Khan pledged not to take security away from council estates.

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“Every single council tenant will have a secure tenancy,” she promised.

Poplar Harca, meanwhile, will only charge 70 per cent rents for new one-bedroom flats and slightly less for family-size new homes, rather than the maximum 80 per cent under the Government’s new ‘rent model,’ Joan Murphy told the conference.

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