We had a really productive Housing Affordability Day on 23 July and we are now ready to start work on a Brent Housing Affordability Strategy.
Perhaps ‘Strategy’ might be the wrong word. To me, a strategy is like a road map. Not only is the end point known, but the route for getting there is clearly signposted.
Well, following our Housing Affordability Day we are in no doubt where we want to get to – making Brent an affordable place for people to live and work.
But there is not yet a clearly marked route. Indeed we know that the main highway will have many road blocks, mainly those concerned with much reduced subsidies for building affordable homes, caps on Brent Council’s borrowing to invest and inadequate wages and benefits.
So we’re going to have to look at all the lanes and byways to reach our destination.
Should we be joining up with those campaigning for a London Living Wage, for example, to reflect the high level of rents in London?
And what about this notion of Rent Increase Indexation? Lots of people have been promoting the idea that landlords and tenants could be free to agree on the rent at the start of a tenancy but thereafter increases should be pegged to, say, the rate of inflation or the Consumer Price Index.
Of course, it will take a change in the law to compel landlords to operate such a system. But in the meantime, are there any incentives which might persuade some landlords to enter such agreements voluntarily? I have a hunch there might be. Let’s find out.
We heard some great ideas at our Affordability Day and our Renters Campaign on 29 July is going to look at what we can do to take some of these forward. Why not join us? 6.30pm at our Private Tenants Advice Centre,36-38 Willesden Lane, NW6.
If you can’t make it on the 29th but you want to stay involved and contribute, Contact Us or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add you to the online Brent Housing Affordability Task Force. This is all set to be a Force to be reckoned with!