From the Office of the Mayor of Tower Hamlets
For immediate release – 9th September 2013
TOWER HAMLETS MAYOR PREPARES LEGAL CHALLENGE OVER BORIS’ UNAFFORDABLE RENTS
‘BORIS JOHNSON IS OUT OF TOUCH’, SAYS LUTFUR RAHMAN
Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman has attacked Boris Johnson for unleashing crippling rent increases on poor Londoners, and revealed that the council is preparing for a judicial review of the policy.
Despite an attempt by opposition groups to defeat the proposals, the London Plan cleared the London Assembly on 3 September, setting the ‘affordable’ rent benchmark at a staggering 80% of the market rate.
Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman, who was part of the coalition of 9 left-wing council leaders that wrote to the Assembly pleading that the controversial plans be dropped, has indicated that the borough is looking at joining with other councils, including Islington, to challenge the decision in the courts.
Mayor Lutfur Rahman said:
“Boris, you are out of touch and you have failed Londoners.
“We told you that 80% of the market rate is totally unaffordable for ordinary residents in Tower Hamlets.
“Given that you have not listened, I have instructed lawyers to prepare the ground for a judicial review of this devastating decision.”
Building homes and tackling overcrowding have been Mayor Rahman’s passion throughout his political career.
In the years under his leadership, Tower Hamlets has been recognised by central government as building more affordable homes than any other council in the country.
Working with registered housing providers, the council has to date ensured that no homes have been let at levels above 65 per cent including service charges.
It is also on track to delivering 4,000 new homes in the borough by 2014 with its partners and to bring all council homes up to the Government’s Decent Homes Standards by 2016.
Councillor Rabina Khan, cabinet member for housing, said:
“Affordable rents need to be set locally. There’s no way a centralised policy can address the economic needs of a city so large and diverse.”
Notes to editors:
For information about this press release contact Numan Hussain, Political Advisor to the Mayor, on
07508 352 023 or email numan.hussain@towerhamlets.