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Starting a family “unaffordable for average London household”

London is off-limits to the average couple who want to start a family, according to research from Generation Rent.

The group has launched a campaign called Vote Homes 2016 which calls for a better deal for renters from the next mayor.

Its analysis of government rent and earnings statistics claims that there is not a single London Borough where the median rent on a two-bed home is affordable to a family earning the median salary.


Across London the median rent would take up 52% of the median salary – much more than the 30% considered affordable. In the cheapest London borough, Havering, rent on a typical two-bed takes up 35% of the median salary.

The difficulty of paying the rent on a family home with just one earner means having a child is unaffordable for a typical London couple.

Vote Homes 2016 aims to give objective advice on the main mayoral candidates' policies that affect private renters. Each candidate’s policies on housing are marked on a traffic light system depending on whether they fail to improve the status quo (red), are on the right track (amber) or will significantly improve life for renters (green). The site will be updated as and when candidates announce new policies.

Among its proposals, the campaign is calling on the candidates to commit to building homes at genuinely affordable rents where the poorest 25% of Londoners will pay no more than 30% of their income on rent.

Betsy Dillner, director of Generation Rent, said: "Housing is now so expensive even couples on ordinary incomes are unable to start a family. People who grew up here are facing an impossible choice about their future. London’s status as a world capital will rapidly disintegrate if half of its population see the shutters come down on their aspirations.

"We need a mayor who will make lower rents their first priority and take immediate action to help the capital’s 2 million private renters.”

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    The population of London has grown by over a million in the last 15 years. In the meantime, council housing has been sold off, housing benefit has been cut, banks don't like to lend and apparently David Cameron believes that £400k for a property is now 'affordable'.

    With all but top earners and foreign investors priced out of buying, is it any wonder rents are rising?

    It is the abject failure of successive governments which has gotten us into this mess. I see no reason why it should be up to the PRS to get us out.

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    Unfortunately, Generation Rent only see the housing situation from one angle - theirs. They WANT social inequity and imbalance - they just want it in their favour. They ignore the reality that over half of all home owners own their home outright with no mortgage and therefore reducing the cost of housing is not their priority.

    As a country, we should be focussing NOT on making housing cheaper, but on INCREASING people's income and on DECREASING taxes, therefore making everything more affordable. We should be focussing on growth, jobs and entrepreneurialism, not on making things cheap enough that their cost is brought down to the lowest common denominator.


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