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Universal credit uplift key to ensuring low income renters can stay in their homes, says Sadiq Khan

Big Issue is campaigning to End Housing Insecurity Now by increasing universal credit and unfreezing local housing allowance

Sadiq Khan

Average rent is out of reach of most Londoners, said Khan. Image: Caroline Teo

Uplifting universal credit and local housing allowance, the two key aims of Big Issue’s ongoing housing campaign, are key to making London affordable, says mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Our End Housing Insecurity Now campaign is calling on the government to support renters with urgent reforms and, as Khan pointed out, Westminster help is “really important” to making housing genuinely affordable.

“What we’ve got to do is make sure London is affordable for everyone. We’ve made it habitable for beavers today, but there are many people who can’t afford to rent a home, let alone buy a home,” Khan told the Big Issue, when asked about the difference these measures would make to residents in the capital, at an event where beavers were released in London for the first time in 400 years.

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Big Issue is campaigning for universal credit to be increased to £120 a week for a single person and £200 for a couple. Sadiq Khan pointed out that the record numbers of social homes being built are not enough on their own to help renters.

“We’re breaking records in relation to homes we’re building, genuinely affordable homes, but in the short to medium term, there’s going to be a need for the rental market, and so we’re trying to persuade the government to lift the cap in relation to some of the benefits – universal credit is really important,” Khan said. 

“During the pandemic they gave additional support to families and we could do with that badly during the cost of living crisis.”

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Local housing allowance – which the End Housing Insecurity Now campaign is calling to be unfrozen – is failing to keep pace with the soaring cost of renting in the capital, Khan added.

“We’ve got to make sure that housing allowance is commensurate with the cost of living in London. Actually the cost of renting, private accommodation, is now £2,600 a month in London on average. 

“That’s out of the reach of most Londoners. That’s why it’s really important the government gives us the support we need for more genuinely affordable homes.”

Support our campaign and help put pressure on the government to make meaningful change for renters by adding your name to our petition.

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