Coalition plan to charge tenants 80% of market rent would make housing around Olympic Park too expensive for most

Labour have claimed that the Olympic Park could become a “no-go zone” for low income families with two or more children if it adopts new government plans to charge 80% of market rents for affordable housing.

Nicky Gavron, the party’s housing spokesperson on the London Assembly, warned the Mayor against introducing the 80% rate to the Park.

She said: “I am very concerned about this because it will affect the social fabric of these neighbourhoods. It will be incredibly difficult for families with two or more children looking for social rented accommodation to afford these rents when they are increased to 80%.”

As part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the coalition government brought in plans to charge social housing tenants 80% of market rates. While this could actually lower costs where private rents are low, for example in parts of the North of the country, it is expected to significantly raise them for tenants living in expensive London.

Last October London Mayor Boris Johnson warned of a “Kosovo style social cleansing” of poor families from the capital if the 80% cap was introduced.

“The Mayor should be doing everything in his power to ensure the Olympics deliver the legacy that was promised and that won us the bid in the first place. If he goes back on this promise he risks creating a no-go zone on the Olympic Park for hard-pressed families by pricing them out of its housing,” Gavron said.