I fought your corner on Radio 4 this morning - Simon Hughes

I fought your corner on Radio 4 this morning


This morning I had the opportunity to talk on national radio, about the concerns you have told me about on the doorstep.

Last night, I spoke to a mum in Rotherhithe who told me about her three sons.

They all work, they all want to leave home and be independent young men, but they can’t because rents are so high, and they can’t afford the advanced tenancy deposits landlords usually ask for.

It was very pleasing that I was able to fight for them on national radio this morning when I announced I want to introduce “Help to Rent”.


Under “Help to Rent”, young working people in our community will be able to borrow up to £2,000 from the Government to go towards their tenancy deposit.

To be eligible, tenants would need to be between 18-30 years old, in paid employment and not be homeowners or seeking social housing tenancy.

Loans could be paid over one of two years and once paid off, could be used for future rental properties.

Young adults should not have to rely on the bank of mum and dad after they start work. There are a lot of youngsters in our community who want to be independent, and the only way to make sure that happens is through the housing plan I am fighting for.

Help to Rent will help a great many young people in our area step out from under their parents’ wings.

Of course, the source of high rents in our area is the shortage of supply of affordable housing. When you talk to me on the street and on your doorstep, you tell me the same thing over and over again – housing is the number one issue.

So this morning, I fought for you and gave your local concerns a national voice. Calling on Labour to honour their agreement of 35% affordable housing in every new development in Southwark, and to side with residents rather than big developers.

Whether you live in Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, Borough or the Elephant, I fight to make local problems, national issues and housing is at the top of my agenda. 

Listen to my interview on Help to Rent and the need for more affordable housing here: (starts at 02:49).