Harlsden LETS – fighting for affordable rent in London
A community lettings agency fighting for affordable rent in an overcrowded area of London
Community business name: Harlesden LETS
Type of organisation: Community lettings agency
Location: Harlesden, Brent, London
What’s the idea?
Harlesden LETS is specifically set up to address the inequalities of private renting in Harlesden, London, especially for those who are struggling to come up with steep rental deposits. They also want to address the poor state of properties in their local area, many of which are in desperate need of renovation and repairs. Run by local people for local people, Harlesden LETS will also offer training and apprenticeships to local young people in property services and other complementary services such as a Credit Union. They aim to be an ethical lettings agency, bringing local social responsibility to Harlesden.
How will it help local people?
As in many London boroughs, Harlesden is seeing a rising number of households renting privately but little change in the number of properties. Harlesden now has more than 6,500 residents, with high levels of homelessness and families living in temporary accommodation. With many local residents unable to afford extortionate rents, and not sure where to turn to for support when renting, local people are acutely aware of the risk of being frozen out of the area.
There is significant local need for affordable rented homes that are maintained. This is the reason Harlesden LETS was established, entirely by local residents and housing activists with knowledge of the local area. They aim to prevent residents falling into poverty due to expensive and inadequate housing, and while doing so, reinstating pride in the local community and its homes.
A full feasibility study, which will identify the most appropriate business strategy and model, build a support base, and investigate what works in other parts of the country.Find out more about the Bright Ideas Fund here