Labour accused of breaking manifesto pledge on new council homes


Senior Haringey Labour councillors have been accused of breaking a key manifesto pledge over plans to charge higher rents for hundreds of newly-built council-owned homes.Senior Haringey Labour councillors have been accused of breaking a key manifesto pledge over plans to charge higher rents for hundreds of newly-built council-owned homes.

Cabinet papers reveal more than 800 of the new council homes funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) could be charged at London Affordable Rent (LAR) levels rather than the lower ‘formula rent’ level – meaning renters would face paying at least an extra £12.61 per week at current rates.Cabinet papers reveal more than 800 of the new council homes funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) could be charged at London Affordable Rent (LAR) levels rather than the lower ‘formula rent’ level – meaning renters would face paying at least an extra £12.61 per week at current rates.

LAR is set at around 50% of the market rent, while formula rent is calculated using past property values, local earnings and property size, which works out at a lower rate. The proposals are set out in the council’s budget plans for 2023/24, which state that using LAR is the best way of maintaining “financial sustainability” because it qualifies for GLA grant funding of £100,000 per unit.LAR is set at around 50% of the market rent, while formula rent is calculated using past property values, local earnings and property size, which works out at a lower rate. The proposals are set out in the council’s budget plans for 2023/24, which state that using LAR is the best way of maintaining “financial sustainability” because it qualifies for GLA grant funding of £100,000 per unit.

The budget report states that LAR is 8.1% higher than the maximum formula rent level, or ‘cap’, which works out as £12.61 per week more expensive for a one-bedroom home, increasing to £14.85 per week more for a four-bedroom property.The budget report states that LAR is 8.1% higher than the maximum formula rent level, or ‘cap’, which works out as £12.61 per week more expensive for a one-bedroom home, increasing to £14.85 per week more for a four-bedroom property.

Campaign group Haringey Defend Council Housing says LAR rates are significantly higher than the borough’s average social rents, which are lower than the cap. Ruth Gordon, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said soaring inflation and interest rates had left the authority with little choice but to charge higher rents for some homes.Campaign group Haringey Defend Council Housing says LAR rates are significantly higher than the borough’s average social rents, which are lower than the cap. Ruth Gordon, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said soaring inflation and interest rates had left the authority with little choice but to charge higher rents for some homes.

Noah Tucker, a Labour member and former Haringey councillor, spoke against the plans to charge higher rents during a deputation to the cabinet meeting. He was joined by Paul Burnham from Haringey Defend Council Housing, housing campaigner Florence Allaway, secretary of Tottenham Labour Party Jessica Tabois, and foodbank co-ordinator Anne O’Daly.Noah Tucker, a Labour member and former Haringey councillor, spoke against the plans to charge higher rents during a deputation to the cabinet meeting. He was joined by Paul Burnham from Haringey Defend Council Housing, housing campaigner Florence Allaway, secretary of Tottenham Labour Party Jessica Tabois, and foodbank co-ordinator Anne O’Daly.

Noah told the meeting: “This is effectively the abrogation by the majority party of the key, single most important part of its manifesto – that is, to build council homes at council rents, and in fact 3,000 high-quality council homes at council rents.Noah told the meeting: “This is effectively the abrogation by the majority party of the key, single most important part of its manifesto – that is, to build council homes at council rents, and in fact 3,000 high-quality council homes at council rents.

“It doesn’t say affordable rents, it doesn’t say London Affordable Rents, it says council rents, and everybody is absolutely clear what that means.”“It doesn’t say affordable rents, it doesn’t say London Affordable Rents, it says council rents, and everybody is absolutely clear what that means.”

Noah added that a scrutiny meeting had been told that LAR for one development could be £30-35 per week more expensive than formula rent. Asking for more details on the financial basis for the proposal, he called for a rethink of the plans and a proper discussion with the community.Noah added that a scrutiny meeting had been told that LAR for one development could be £30-35 per week more expensive than formula rent. Asking for more details on the financial basis for the proposal, he called for a rethink of the plans and a proper discussion with the community.

In response, Cllr Gordon…



Read More:Labour accused of breaking manifesto pledge on new council homes