This resolution was passed unanimously at Liverpool Council’s meeting last night.
Council is appalled at the imposition of rent hikes by private landlords in Liverpool. Councillors and advice organisations are being approached by families who are now having to leave their home because of increased rent. They are at risk of becoming homeless. This is creating a housing emergency on top of a cost-of-living crisis. This is placing further pressure on already under resourced homelessness services, which is already £4.11m overspent this year.
The recent meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board also noted an increase in Discretionary Housing Payment applications to cover the costs of increasing rent. Residents, who face a doubling of their energy bills, 14+% increase in shopping bills and a 30% increase in fuel costs, now face the unsustainable level of private rent. The decline in homeownership as a result of a period of rising house prices has made buying a home unaffordable for too many. This combined with insufficient levels of social housing stock is forcing an increasing number of residents into the private rented sector, and that is leaving them at the mercy of rising rents and under-regulated tenancies.
The result is an increasing number of our residents are being deprived of one of the most fundamental pillars to a healthy and happy life – a secure, stable, and affordable home. In the face of a worsening national economic crisis, urgent action is needed to protect our residents, especially those in the most precarious living circumstances, from its severest impacts.
This Council calls on local private landlords and letting agents to reverse the increase in rent and work with our officers to set rents that our residents can afford.
This Council also calls on Government to –
- Introduce rent reforms and an urgent cap to protect private tenants from further rental increases at a time of crisis;
- Increase Local Housing Allowance rates in line with rising private market rents – making these more affordable and reducing the proportion of income spent on rent at a time when household budgets are increasingly squeezed;
- Legislate a no winter evictions guarantee to protect private tenants from homelessness through the most challenging period of the cost-of-living crisis; and
- Prioritise the passing of the Renters’ Reform Bill that seeks to improve standards, security, and regulations across the private rented sector to better protect tenants.