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Sadiq Khan humiliated: Mayor’s London rent control plan branded ‘economic illiteracy’

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Sadiq Khan humiliated

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Amid the Mayor’s calls for increased power, Matthew Lesh the head of research at the Adam Smith Insitute stated Mr Khan’s plan is a way to detract from his failures. He said: “This is economic illiteracy of the highest order. “Khan is only considering the immediate effects of freezing rent: a short-term benefit to those currently renting — helping higher-income earners who have existing rental arrangements.

“This entirely ignores the longer-term effects.

“Khan’s rent control proposal is ultimately a cynical political ploy to distract from failures in the Mayor’s areas of responsibility.

“Crime is on the rise, Crossrail is years behind schedule, Transport for London is running gigantic deficits, and council rates are on the rise.

“Now is the time for serious leadership that evangelizes London and addresses serious issues — not an old, failed policy.”

In a further attack on the Mayor’s plan, Mr Lesh claimed any control on rent prices will only lead to less housing availability, in a piece written for The Daily Telegraph.

Indeed, once occupied, the economist claimed residents will not move from their properties causing younger families being unable to crack into the market.

Due to these rent controls, there will be less construction or even the demolition of buildings.

In turn, with residents occupying properties for long periods, landlords will have less revenue and be under less pressure to develop properties.

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Using the example of Berlin, the researcher revealed how the city had instituted similar plans in 2014 before it was found to be unconstitutional this month.

Indeed, amid Mr Khan’s plans, approximately 700,000 people have departed the city over the last year causing rent prices in the capital to drop by 17 percent.

As Mr Lesh concluded: “This should serve as an important lesson: rents are determined by supply and demand.

“When there is again a growing population in the capital, chasing the same number of properties, prices will go up.

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“The solution to this problem is clear: build more homes.”

Also within Mr Khan’s manifesto is to build 10,000 new council homes over the next four years.

This is part of his target to build 116,000 affordable homes during his time as Mayor.

However, according to figures acquired by the Conservative Assembly member Andrew Boff, only 35,000 new affordable homes would’ve been built on current progress by 2026.

This project would’ve used £4.82billion in Government grants while only 56,239 had been completed as of December 2020.

Mr Boff commented: “London has a fantastic deal from the Government – we’ve been given a third of England’s affordable homes budget.

“It’s the Mayor’s job to come up with a plan to turn that investment into new homes. He has no excuses for being unambitious.

“Under Sadiq Khan, City Hall housebuilding has become sluggish.

“After five years, he’s started less than half of the homes he has the money to build.

“It’s no wonder he’s chickening out and scaling back his housing plan by two-thirds.”

Some, however, have claimed Brexit and the pandemic have caused the production of housing to be slowed.

Mr Khan’s office has been contacted for comment.

Houston rent relief: There’s still $100M available, but applications are starting to die down

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — If you need help with May’s rent, there’s a program available which could give you money to cover way more than just a month.

The Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program kicked off a couple of months ago, but the amount of people looking for help is starting to lessen.

 

HOW MUCH HELP IS AVAILABLE?

The municipalities received $ 159 million from a federal stimulus bill to help people who are at risk of losing their home. So far, $ 57 million has been distributed.

However, there’s still $ 102 million available.

“It can cover overdue rent back to the start of the pandemic and then two months forward,” said Bart Ferrell, the COO of Catholic Charities. “We’re really committed to the stability and housing.”

HOW CAN I APPLY?

Start by visiting the program’s website. You’ll asked to answer a series of questions and upload a few documents.

After you apply, you can go back and check the status of your application.

So far, 50,239 have applied. A total 35,928 are currently in the queue and 14,311 applications are still waiting to start the process.
Lorena Cuatete, a single mom who needed help with four months worth of rent, applied for the program and was approved.

“Don’t stress,” Cuatete said. “You don’t have to cry behind closed doors. So your kids don’t see you crying and stressing over bills and everything.”

Applications are chosen at random so there’s no rush. As long as there’s money available, the program is open until the end of the year.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR HELP?

In order to receive the assistance, you must meet certain qualifications. Households must make 80% below the average income, which, for a family for four, is $ 63,050. You must also experience housing instability or be at risk of homelessness. Lastly, you must have experienced financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Although the number of applications coming in has slowed down, officials said they can’t expand eligibility.
“These funds are designated from Congress,” Ferrell explained. “The eligibility requirements were sent down from the [U.S. Treasury.] We’re required to abide by those.”

To get more people qualified, officials are also going to eviction courts to inform people about the program.

GETTING IN-PERSON ASSISTANCE

You don’t have to apply online. There are “navigator” agencies where neighbors can receive in-person assistance with the application process. Currently, there are 13 locations across the Houston area where you can get help. Starting next week, three additional agencies will welcome tenants to get in-person help.

To find a list of navigator sites, click here.

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Author: Nick Natario

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