Call for more Support for Renters & Landlords

Capital Letters, the unique not-for-profit owned by London boroughs is calling for more financial support for tenants, landlords and boroughs who have been hit by the rental crisis in London.

PRESS RELEASE

Capital Letters, the unique not-for-profit owned by London boroughs is calling for more financial support for tenants, landlords and boroughs who have been hit by the rental crisis in London. 

Sue Edmonds, Capital Letters CEO said “The latest government data shows that 104,510 households were in temporary accommodation in Q1 of 2023. This is the highest number on record and a significant increase on the pre-pandemic average.” 

“To prevent the homelessness crisis worsening and to prevent the Private Rented Sector from collapsing we need urgent Treasury intervention.” 

Capital Letters are experts in the private rented sector across London and have seen the impact that a lack of supply is having on affordability and in turn rates of homelessness, we are calling on the Government to: 

  • Increase Local Housing Allowance rates to reflect market rents and track these into the future. The latest government estimates suggested that the cost of increasing LHA rates to the 30th percentile would be £700m for the financial year 2023-24 across Great Britain. In 2021/22, local authorities in England alone spent more than double this figure, £1.6bn, on the provision of temporary accommodation for homeless households. 
  • Apply a commensurate increase to the benefits cap to ensure that those in London with higher rents are not penalised.  
  • Encourage landlords to stay in the market and invest in upgrading their properties including through introducing incentives for landlords to increase the energy performance of their property through a tax restructuring to allow energy performance improvements to be deductible against rental income. In addition, low or no interest loans should be introduced to
  • Look at ways to bring empty homes and buildings back into use to boost supply in the short-term, providing there are appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that these are high quality and are delivered with local authority input. Government data shows that there are nearly 90,000 vacant dwellings in London currently. Grants should be made available to bring these back into use and improve their energy efficiency. 


“The market is failing the vulnerable” Sue Edmonds commented “By that I mean an ecosystem of interlocking vulnerabilities – financially vulnerable landlords who are working with increased regulation and increased tax burden and mortgage rates, financially vulnerable local authorities who, across London as a whole, are paying £60m a week for temporary accommodation, and most importantly ordinary Londoners – Londoners who are affected by the cost of living crisis unable to pay their rent or mortgage and are facing homelessness, who are experiencing homelessness, and those who are trapped in Temporary Accommodation – Each part of this ecosystem will be helped by our 4 priorities.”