News from Len Duvall OBE: Len Duvall asks businesses to help with rent deposits
Local businesses are being called upon to help their employees with housing, following a commitment from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to support public servants in London.
Pledges, set by campaign group Fifty Thousand Homes, range from paying the London Living Wage to offering deposit loans, as well as providing guidance and advice to employees experiencing housing difficulty. Local Assembly Member Len Duvall said the scheme could help “thousands” of residents.
Fifty Thousand Homes is a campaign coalition of over one hundred business leaders which counts CBI London, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the London School of Economics among its supporters.
Earlier this month, the Mayor announced that all of the GLA linked organisations will sign up to the pledges, which means police officers and fire fighters will be among those who benefit.
Fifty Thousand Homes says London’s high cost of housing is a huge challenge for businesses and makes it problematic to attract and retain the people needed to keep the city working and thriving.
More than 100 employers including big firms such as Arup, Mace Group and Grant Thornton UK LLP have signed up, while the campaign is backed by business groups, including London First, and housing charity Shelter.
The number of renters in London is expected to continue to rise, after new figures revealed the number of places where it is possible to buy a home for £300,000 or less has fallen dramatically. Five years ago almost half of London’s 649 wards had an average price below £300,000, but today that figure is just 40. Just two of those are in Greenwich and there are none in Lewisham
Local London Assembly Member Len Duvall said:
Although the Mayor has no formal powers over private renting in London, Sadiq Khan is taking welcome action to help generation rent.
The announcement that all parts of the City Hall group will offer loans to help employees cover rental deposits will help thousands of public workers serving our city, including those in the Fire Brigade and the Met. I am calling on firms across Greenwich and Lewisham to step up and do the same.
This won’t just help staff; it’s good for business too. Over two thirds of London firms say housing costs and availability have a negative impact on recruitment.
It’s true we have a housing crisis, and it’s true that this is just one small – but important – step in supporting those who rent in Greenwich and Lewisham. Under this Mayor, I am hoping it will be one of many.