Challenging changes to housing
Around 200 people, including Council tenants and members of residents’ associations gathered at the Town Hall on 11 February to discuss current Government plans which are likely to have a big impact on Camden residents.
As part of the Housing and Planning Bill, the Government is proposing a range of changes, which include:
- requiring councils to sell off high value council homes when they become vacant,
- allowing housing association tenants to buy their homes at a discount,
- limiting council tenancies for new tenants to 2 to 5 years, and
- charging council tenants who have a household income of more than £40,000 a market rent for their council home.
Less social housing
There was a panel discussion at the event which included panellists from Shelter, Generation Rent, and the London School of Economics. The speakers said that the Government’s plans will reduce the availability of social housing in Camden, that this is likely to push up the cost of renting privately in Camden, and that some Camden residents will find the borough less affordable. There were also opportunities to find out about responding to consultations.
Lynn Geddes, of Kings Cross, would potentially be asked to pay a market rate on her council flat if the changes go ahead. She said: “My husband and I would just be over the £40,000. I have been renting my council home for over 35 years, I’ve always worked and I’ve always paid my rent, but I won’t be able to at market prices – they are so unaffordable.”
Have your say
To find out more about how the changes could affect you, and what you can do to influence them, go to: camden.gov.uk/housingbill