As the social emergency intensifies, more and more of us find it harder to cover the basics – living on poverty wages and inadequate benefits. In many places rents are rising faster than inflation, private landlords force prospective tenants to pay for viewings and tenants in social housing are faced with a 7% rent rise in April 2023.
The Rent Freeze campaign has been supported by Defend Council Housing, Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC), Grenfell Community Campaigners, UNISON, the New Economics Foundation (NEF), UNITE Housing Action Group, Action on Empty Homes, Fuel Poverty Action, University of Manchester Rent Strike, Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations (SGTO), Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Unite Housing Workers, Labour Campaign for Council Housing, Action for Fire Safety Justice, Movement for Justice, Unite Housing-Jobs & Homes for All, NASUWT, Deputy Leader of Islington Council, Labour Campaign for Council Housing and others.
We demand a rent freeze and call attention to associated housing issues such as poor conditions, mould, reduced services and fire safety. A letter has been written to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to demand that the government fund a rent and service charge freeze.
This demand builds on the example from Scotland where the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act was passed on October 2022, freezing rent until March 2023, with regulations allowing an extension until March 2024. This is a fantastic win for Living Rent Scotland, shows the impact of political pressure from the housing movement and also how the Labour Party, who proposed the policy, can support a 0% rent rise. We also welcome Sadiq Khan’s call for a rent freeze for private renters and a rent rebate for social housing which in effect is a rent freeze.