HELEN HAYES WELCOMES U-TURN ON ‘PAY TO STAY’ / DEVELOPERS FACE GREATER PUBLIC SCRUTINY OVER LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOMES SAY LAMBETH
Helen Hayes MP has welcomed a Government ‘U-turn’ on ‘pay to stay’ policy which would have hiked local rents by an average of £4,067 a year
The Government have abandoned its controversial ‘pay to stay’ policy, which would have imposed crippling rent hikes on working council tenants, said a statement from the Dulwich and West Norwood MP.
“In Lambeth and Southwark the proposal – dubbed the ‘tenant tax’ – would have seen the rents of those affected rise by an average of £4,067 a year (Lambeth – £3,913; Southwark – £4,221).
“In a statement housing minister Gavin Barwell said: ‘Social housing has a crucial role to play in supporting those in most housing need. ‘To that end, powers were provided for in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to introduce an income based rents policy, requiring local authorities to set higher rents for higher income council tenants.
‘Since the summer, the Government has been reviewing this policy. ‘We have listened carefully to the views of tenants, local authorities and others and as a result, we have decided not to proceed with a compulsory approach. ‘Local authorities and housing associations will continue to have local discretion.’
Responding to the announcement MP Helen Hayes said: “I am pleased that this disastrous proposal has been ditched, as it would have had a devastating impact on residents of Dulwich and West Norwood
“Both Lambeth and Southwark would have been subject to the rent hikes, putting a strain on their finances and in all likelihood forcing many out of their homes.
“That is why Labour has opposed this plan from the outset and I strongly welcome this change of heart from the Government.” (Source: Press Release from office of Helen Hayes)
DEVELOPERS FACE GREATER PUBLIC SCRUTINY OVER LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOMES SAY LAMBETH
Developers of all major sites in Lambeth who can’t meet the borough’s 40 per cent affordable housing target will face greater public scrutiny under Lambeth council’s proposals.
The council want developers who fail to meet the affordable homes target to publish a viability assessment explaining why, that will be publicly available and not redacted.
If the measure is approved, it will be included in a supplementary planning document (SPD) that forms part of the council’s planning guidelines.
Developers must weigh up the financial risks and market conditions against profit forecasts and have to prove that it would not be financially viable for them to deliver the number of affordable homes required.
Lambeth council’s cabinet member for regeneration Cllr Jack Hopkins said: “There’s been growing public concern that deals with developers are done behind closed doors and we need to make the process much more transparent, clear, and fair, to make sure the affordable housing Lambeth badly needs is built.”
Once approved the draft development viability SPD will be available for comment on the council’s website www.lambeth.gov.uk as part of a 12 week consultation. (Source: Lambeth council’s Love Lambeth website)