Win for private renters on council estates at Mayor’s Question Time

At today’s Mayor’s Question Time, Sian Berry AM won valuable promises for the rights of private renters on council estates.

On estate regeneration across London, we’ve seen serious problems with residents not being listened to when councils make development plans.

Private renters – many of whom rent relatively cheaply in former right-to-buy homes on estates – are often completely excluded and overloooked when regeneration plans are made. Many councils omit private renters from their communications (writing only to the council tenants and leaseholders) and so don’t give them the chance to take part at all.

After he had skirted the issue in written questions, today the Mayor finally committed to including private renters in the new consultation and development processes he has promised to create in a new guidance document.

Sian says: “The really good thing about the Mayor’s answer was that he basically said he had listened to my views and thought about them and decided to do what I had previously asked. I’m genuinely happy about that. What happens to private renters as plans progress is important too, as they are often evicted early in the process without any right to return.

“Today I also asked about how the Mayor will measure whether residents on estates support regeneration options, in particular whether he will use ballots to make certain. In his answers to these questions today he was less clear about what he would do. I was, however, promised a meeting with the Deputy Mayor to discuss all these issues.”

“If we do get guidance that says any regeneration options – including demolition – will only be allowed after a ballot of residents, then including private renters will be something I’ll push hard on there too. And I’ll work to make sure it comes in as soon as possible to help residents facing demolition now, on estates like Central Hill in Lambeth and Cambridge Road in Kingston, which I have visited recently.”

Watch the video of Sian’s question and the Mayor’s answers:



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