Tuesday, 01 December 2015

Housing scheme launched for low wage workers

A London council has launched a pilot programme for low wage workers who have not previously been prioritised for social housing.

Westminster Council will allow workers earning below a certain threshold – likely to be set at around £30,000 - to apply for affordable rent accommodation, with rents around a third cheaper than they would find in the private sector.

The initial pilot will involve around 25 homes in London’s west end but could be extended if it is successful.

Jonathan Glanz, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘We are working to provide fairer housing options to lower-earning individuals who play a vital role in the economic life of the west end.’

The plan was also welcomed by housing minister Grant Shapps. But Westminster’s Labour group questioned whether it would work and claimed that new government-set housing benefit caps would drive more low-earning people out of the borough.

Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of Westminster Labour, added: ‘With housebuilding at its lowest point for decades, housing supply is not increasing to keep pace with demand.’

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