Islington council throw down legal gauntlet to Boris Johnson over rents

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing - Credit: Archant

The town hall has confirmed it will take Boris Johnson to court over his plans to set rent so high it could force people out of Islington.

Earlier this month the London Assembly passed the Mayor of London’s proposal to cap so-called affordable rents at 80 per cent of the market value.

Islington Council has long taken the stance that this would price thousands of families out of the area and they are the best equipped to set rents – the charity Shelter estimated a family need to earn £72,000 to afford a two bedroom property in the borough.

Now Islington, along with seven other councils, have notified Mr Jonhson they intend to mount a legal challenge to the scheme.

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development for, said: “Across London, we need new housing that people on low incomes can afford.

“We believe the Mayor of London’s plan to raise rents of new affordable housing to near-market levels is totally wrong for our city.

“In Islington, we are building new council housing and we want to protect social rents. Like many other councils we believe we should be able to set rents that we know are genuinely affordable in our local area.

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“That’s why our eight boroughs are together challenging the Mayor of London over his attempt to impose higher rents on the people we represent.”

Islington is leading the campaign for a judicial review on behalf of the other boroughs – Brent, Camden, Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Southwark and Tower Hamlets – have given the Mayor formal notice that they intend to judicially review his decision.