Council tenants will pay an extra 7.21 per cent, or £6.58 per week for a two bed flat, after Lambeth cabinet approved the rent hikes confirmed on Monday.
Councillors meeting at the town hall, Brixton Hill, Brixton, voted to carry the proposal to full council. It will see service and concierge charges frozen, as well as garage and parking rents.
The move came despite and impassioned plea from tenants to keep a rise to a maximum of five per cent.
Chairperson of the Brixton Area Housing Forum, Jean Kerrigan, said: “For impoverished families this has a long term effect.
“£6.58 is enough money for someone three or four hot meals. It is not a small amount of money for these people.”
Cllr Lib Beck, cabinet member for housing conceded that the rise would be a “very very hard ask” but said the council had a very low level reserves for housing which poses a serious risk. She added that £4.5million extra would be spent on repairs.
In a comment (below) on the original Brixton Blog story Peck said:
“It should be noted that this increase is dictated by central government and as such our choices are limited.
“We understand that these are hard times and that welfare reforms will only add to the pressure but I want to assure residents that, in return, Lambeth will build on its record of improvement and continue to increase the level of investment in their homes.”
Liberal Democrat leader Ashley Lumsden used the occasion to call an end to Lambeth Living and take housing provision back in house. He said it would save up to £1million per year.
But Peck replied: “It (Lambeth Living) has provided much more effective performance. People have waited a very long time to see service improvements and they’re starting to happen.”
Lumsden was also concerned that postponing a decision on concierge charges and parking charges is simply “putting off increases for another year.”