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Rents are becoming more unaffordable in the borough than anywhere else in England

PUBLISHED: 15:09 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:00 08 August 2018

Flats in the Weavers Quarter are available for up to 20 per cent less than through private rental companies. Picture: LBBD

Flats in the Weavers Quarter are available for up to 20 per cent less than through private rental companies. Picture: LBBD

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Bad news if you’re a tenant but great news if you’re a landlord – rents in the borough are outpacing household incomes more than anywhere else in England.

Flats in the Weavers Quarter are available for up to 20 per cent less than through private rental companies. Picture: LBBDFlats in the Weavers Quarter are available for up to 20 per cent less than through private rental companies. Picture: LBBD

Data released today by housing charity Shelter shows that the average rent of a two-bed property in Barking and Dagenham has soared by 42 per cent between 2011 and 2017.

However household income in the borough has risen by just two pc over the same period.

This means rents are becoming more unaffordable than anywhere else in England.

According to the report the average monthly rent of a two-bedroom home in Barking and Dagenham is now £1,188.

Shelter has called on the government to come up with a new plan for social housing, to ensure that people on low income jobs can find somewhere affordable to rent and reduce the competition in the private rented sector.

Greg Beales, campaign director at Shelter, said: “With this surge in private renters the housing market has shifted massively and yet as a country we’ve failed to respond.”

Earlier this week Barking and Dagenham Council announced they had released 60 homes for rent but at 80pc of the market value which is deemed ‘affordable’.

The one and two-bedroom apartments, in the Weavers Quarter, Barking, are available for a one-year tenancy, followed by a five-year assured shorthold agreement.

Rent for a two-bed flat is £1,120 per month with a one bedroom property costing £880.

Councillor Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration and social housing, said: “The rents have been set at levels that mean the properties are not out of reach for residents on lower incomes.”

However the decision to make the rents ‘affordable’ rather than social (which is around 50pc of the market value) has attracted criticism with Facebook users.

Commenting on the Post’s Facebook page Louise Long said: “Absolutely ridiculous money! And certainly not council prices. They should be ashamed.”

Jackie M Marlow also agreed the rent was too much. She said: “No way. Should be more £450 to £500.”

However Rebecca Dear said she thought it was affordable, commenting: “It’s less than most rents.”

Nadine O’Sullivan added: “Too many people expect something for nothing. Like it says, it’s cheaper then renting private.”

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