With the General Election fast approaching, Future of London takes a closer look at rent stabilisation in our upcoming seminar: Stabilising London’s Private Sector Rents: a viable option for tackling the affordability gap? This forms part of a three-year research programme on the private rented sector (PRS) funded by the Oak Foundation and Trust for London.
London rents are national outliers – not only are they extremely high compared to other regions in the UK, but they’re also continuing to rise while wages stagnate. This has led to a greater reliance on housing benefit, but the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) cap has also had a disproportionate effect on London, creating a significant shortfall for many low-income households. Levels of poverty among private renters is increasing in London and for many, the Capital is simply becoming unaffordable.
One potential mechanism to address this is to restrict rent increases through caps or other forms of regulation, and this is reflected in a number of General and Mayoral election manifestos. Labour candidates David Lammy and Diane Abbott have openly supported introducing rent regulation in the Capital, though the specific types of regulation they propose vary.
With this in mind, this Future of London seminar will put rent stabilisation in the spotlight to unravel its complexity and to assess its feasibility. It will address some key questions:
- Is rent stabilisation the best approach to tackling the rising rents in London’s PRS, or would it practically/economically do more harm than good?
- If rent stabilisation is a feasible solution, what form of it would make the biggest positive impact on the London housing market?
- What can London learn from other countries that exercise rent stabilisation, particularly with regard to how it affects landlords and private tenants?
- What alternative options are there for London’s local authorities to control the rising rents in the private stock within their boroughs?
Speakers will include:
- John Bibby, Policy Officer, Shelter
- Christine Whitehead, Professor of Housing, London School of Economics
- Nigel Minto, Head of Housing Strategy and Policy, LB Hackney
When: Thursday, 14th May from 08.30 – 11.00
Where: The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EJ (map)
By holding this event a week after the General Election, and just before Labour’s mayoral candidate selection, we aim to have a balanced discussion that focuses on the viability and possible implementation of various forms of rent stabilisation for London.
The seminar is aimed at London borough officers, policy-makers and interested private-and third-sector practitioners. This will be an open, practical and balanced discussion, where the facts and all aspects of the broader debate will be considered.
This seminar is free to attend, but space is limited and registration is required. To register your interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have secured a place, you will receive a confirmation email.