At the London Assembly’s Plenary Session on Tuesday 9 December, I seconded a motion calling on Westbrook Partners, the owners of the New Era Estate in Hoxton, to stop their plans to hike rental prices. Full text of the Motion is copied below.
I pay tribute to the hard work of the local MP, Meg Hillier, and Hackney’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Phil Glanville for all the hard work they have done, fighting the corner of the residents and for the constructive dialogue they have developed with Westbrook Partners.
Motion Title: New Era estate
Proposer: Tom Copley AM
Seconder: Jennette Arnold OBE AM
This Assembly condemns the actions of Westbrook Partners in their approach to the New Era estate in Hoxton. We believe it is entirely unacceptable that this community, with many long-standing tenants including many key workers, can be subjected to such practices, with many facing extreme rent hikes that will make it impossible for them to remain in their homes beyond Christmas.
This Assembly urges the owners, Westbrook Partners, to either continue renting homes at affordable rents or sell the estate to a reputable and willing housing association. Given the restrictions placed on the London Borough of Hackney as a result of the arbitrary cap on Housing Revenue Account borrowing, we also urge the Mayor of London to explore what legal options are available to the GLA to issue a Compulsory Purchase Order for the estate, similarly, with a view to selling it to a reputable social landlord.
Fundamentally, however, this Assembly notes that the treatment of tenants on the New Era estate highlights why we need reform of the private rented sector. As a minimum, we believe the Mayor should be lobbying the government to introduce on a statutory basis longer-term tenancies with predictable rent rises and ending no fault eviction.