I'd love to see some stats about what the distribution of rent levels is in typical areas. (Can CIH do this - it'd make a great story)
In places like the middle of London, rents of 80% of median market rent are just part of the standard range of rents available.
Take somewhere like SE1 for example. For 80% of the median market rent you could (currently) rent an ex-council home which was sold and is now privately rented out.
In fact in markets like London (and in some of the desirable parts of other cities) then I imagine renting ex-council is typically about 80% of media market rate, bearing in mind the relatively lower desirability (in market terms) of living on an estate rather than in a posh new development.
So 80% is part of the market proper. It's not anything like affordable, and certainly not social rented (bearing in mind how affordable is used to mean a variety of homes, many of which people on social rents coudln't afford).
I'm told there places like Burnley where council rents are already greater than 80% of market rent, but this certainly isn't the case in the places with the greatest pressure on waiting lists.
More information please Inside Housing.....