Rushanara Ali MP urges government to re-think new ‘pay to stay’ housing policy

As a result of recent government changes to housing policy, Londoners living in social housing with a total household income of over £40,000 will be forced to either pay market rent, use right to buy or move out.

The former civil service chief Lord Kerslake, now a crossbench peer, said the changes announced by the Chancellor could “threaten the future of social housing”. New analysis by Local Government Association (LGA)suggests the change could affect almost 215,000 social housing tenants across the country including thousands of residents in London.

Rushanara said:

“I am concerned this new ‘Pay to Stay policy’ is ill-thought out and is a cap on aspiration. Evidence by LGA shows this policy is a disincentive to improving career prospects for families on the cusp of the income threshold who could be left thousands of pounds worse off as a result of working a few extra hours.

“Bethnal Green and Bow is home to a wide range of residents with mixed incomes. This policy risks polarising the local community by hitting hard-working families who earn household incomes of £40,000 and above out of the area.

“I would urge the government to substantially raise the income threshold for charging market rents to tenants, and feel strongly that if this policy goes ahead the maximum rate payable in London should not be above ‘affordable rent’ levels as set out in guidance by the Greater London Authority.”