OPINION - Talking Point: Would lower London rents for women be helpful or patronising?
The Mayor of London has been advised by politicians at City Hall that he should look into reducing London rents for women due to the gender pay gap.
Women in London are paid significantly less than men, and therefore are more adversely impacted by steeply rising London rents, a new report from the London Assembly’s housing committee stated.
At present, women spend roughly 63 per cent of their earnings on private rent in the capital, while men spend around 49 per cent.
The report suggests that Sadiq Khan should make London Living Rent homes available for women to rent based on their median incomes, rather than general median incomes.
The chair of the housing committee, Sem Moema, said: “The London Plan’s [a mayoral policy document] explanation of affordable housing states that annual housing costs should be no greater than 40 per cent of net household income.
“Research shows that women are currently, on average, having to spend 63 per cent of their earnings on housing, and this simply is not sustainable.”
A spokeswoman for Mr Khan responded to the report, saying: “The Mayor is proud to have delivered record-breaking numbers of affordable homes, including the highest level of council homebuilding since the 1970s. His record includes funding specialist housing for women facing homelessness and experiencing domestic abuse.”
She added: “Sadiq welcomes the committee’s work on this important subject and will be considering their recommendations as part of his work to build a better London for everyone.”
Would lower London rents for women be helpful or patronising? Should we be tackling the pay gap itself rather than the problems it causes, or is this a pragmatic approach to bridge the gap? Let us know in the comments for your chance to be featured on the ES website.