Published: Wednesday, 7th December 2016

The implementation of the rates for higher income tenants is to be made optional.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich opposed these changes from the outset and made it clear that they do not benefit residents or the local authority, especially as any additional income generated would be paid to national government.

To tackle the chronic shortage of social and affordable housing, the Royal Borough has adopted a wide range of measures including:

  • a long-held policy of mandating a 35 per cent affordable homes target for new developments
  • directly building new council houses and partnering with housing associations and developers to deliver social housing for working families
  • the Council was also the first to insist on the publishing of un-redacted viability assessments by developers offering less than the 35 per cent affordable homes target.

'Not be implementing these higher rents'

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: "I am very glad that the Minister of State for Housing and Planning has listened to local authorities' concerns on the 'Pay to Stay' policy and has now made its adoption optional. Clearly, the Government has abandoned this controversial policy.

"I would like to reassure tenants who were worried and fearful about this policy that the Royal Borough of Greenwich will not be implementing these higher rents."

'Affordable homes for our residents'

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability, said: "The Government's Pay to Stay policy was a move in the wrong direction and would have hurt hardworking families - this announcement from the Government will allow us to concentrate all of our resources on delivering affordable homes for our residents who desperately need them."

'Deliver on our promise'

Councillor Averil Lekau, Cabinet Member for Housing and Anti-poverty, added: "Over the last few months, I have heard from tenants across the Royal Borough of Greenwich who were anxious about having to pay significantly higher rents.

"I hope those residents can feel assured that as a local authority, we will not be adopting this policy on a voluntary basis and will instead continue to foster close, working relationships with housing associations and developers to deliver on our promise of more affordable homes for residents."