27 April 2017

  |  CBI London

Update

Be a great London employer - Introduce tenancy deposit loans

London is open to people from around the world. The mix of people who make London their home is key to the capital’s vibrancy and our economic success.

Be a great London employer - Introduce tenancy deposit loans

But we know that too many Londoners struggle to find housing they can afford in the capital, and employers often tell me how housing costs are making it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain talented staff in London.

As Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development I am working with partners across London to tackle the housing crisis, and I want to tell you about tenancy deposit loans - a simple and practical way that you as employers can help your employees, your business, and our city.

In the long run we know we need to build more new and affordable housing, and the Mayor has already begun to put in place major long-term initiatives to tackle the capital’s housing crisis.

Having secured a record £3.15bn from the Government last November, we will begin construction on 90,000 new affordable homes in London by 2021. This includes our new homes for London Living Rent that will help those on average incomes save towards a deposit.

But solving the crisis will be a marathon not a sprint, and so we also need to do all we can to help Londoners struggling with housing costs now.

One way we can do this is by employers offering tenancy deposits loans to their employees. These work by organisations providing a loan covering the cost of the deposit through payroll.

The loan is then repaid, again through payroll, in 11 monthly installments. These loans are low-risk and low-cost for employers. They are also very easy to implement, especially if you already offer benefits like season-ticket and childcare loans.

Tenancy deposit loans can help those tenants entering London’s private rented sector for the first time. They can also assist those moving between properties, faced with the problem of needing to produce a deposit for a new flat before they have been able to get their old deposit back.

Spreading the cost of a deposit over a year is a huge help when you consider that new tenants are also usually required to pay a month’s rent in advance and, for the time-being at least, letting agent fees.

The Mayor has made sure the Greater London Authority family, which includes the Greater London Authority itself, Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police, and the London Fire Brigade, are signed up to offering tenancy deposit loans as part of the ‘Employers’ Pledge on Housing’ he launched with London First in January.

Many businesses have joined him in signing up to the pledge too – as of the beginning of April at least 100,000 Londoners now work for employers who have signed up to the pledge, and are offering their employees help with the cost of housing including access to tenancy deposit loans.

The Mayor has now written to 250 top employers in London to encourage them to do the same, and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all CBI members to join us too.

By signing the pledge and offering your employees tenancy deposit loans, you can provide much-needed help for your employees struggling with housing costs, as well as establishing yourself as a great, forward-thinking London employer.

 

James Murray

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development

For more information visit: www.fiftythousandhomes.london/pledge