Earlier today I received a petition from tenants calling on their housing association Peabody to stop escalating their rents, which have risen by 36% in just four years. Peabody bought four estates housing keyworkers across London in 2011 from the Crown Estate. The estates in Victoria Park in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, Cumberland Market in Camden, Milbank in Westminster and Lee Green in Lewisham contain 1,200 homes.
Despite assurances at the time of the sale that rents would be kept affordable, since 2011 rents have increased so someone who paid £650 per month now has to pay £884 a month. At a time of stagnant wage rises and increases in the cost of living residents simply cannot afford this. The petition signed by over 1,000 people calls for a meeting with senior staff at Peabody, a 12 month freeze on further increases and a review of their rent policy.
Peabody used to be a major provider of key worker housing, but the ability of nurses, teachers, and others to pay these escalating rents is slowly being eroded.