Tom Copley

£360 per week is affordable rent, says Mayor Boris Johnson

London, London Assembly, Mayor Boris Johnson

The London Assembly asks Mayor Boris Johnson questions

(This article was written on October 22)

Boris Johnson today said £360 a week counted as an affordable rental price.

The London mayor agreed with comments made by his chief of staff and deputy mayor, Sir Edward Lister, in regards to an apartment in the

redevelopment on the border of Camden and Islington.

Tom Copley, Labour London Assembly Member, criticised the announcement, arguing that because of the benefit cap £500 a week, people living in affordable accommodation in Mount Pleasant would only have £140 to spend on other essentials, such as food and transport.

Mr Copley asked Mr Johnson if he agreed with Sir Lister’s comments, who told BBC news that £360 a week is “very much affordable”.

Mr Johnson said: “I agree with Edward Lister. The local housing allowance covers the rent.

“Registered providers will not be allowed to exceed the cap.”

Mr Copley calculated that the average weekly bill for essentials is £190, which would mean a shortfall of £50 a week for tenants.

Mr Johnson maintained the price was fair, especially as it would be covered by tax payers’ money.

In addition, the apartments Sir Lister was referring to are three bedroom apartments in a wealthy part of North London.

The scheme proposed by the Royal Mail to redevelop their facilities in Mount Pleasant into 681 apartments, including 163 affordable houses, received planning permission earlier in October.

The decision was criticised by Islington Councillor James Murray.

Mr Murray said an opportunity to build hundreds of “genuinely affordable homes for local people” had been missed.