Have your say:

Welcome to our regular column where a local resident has their
say about something on their mind.
This month Muki starts a discussion about high rents forcing people to move out of their
locality to cheaper rent areas and the affect it has on family life.

“I moved to New Cross before my daughter was born. We had a studio flat. It was a bit damp in the bathroom but I liked it, the carpet was nice, the furniture not bad and it was clean.
Rents in London are very expensive, I was paying nearly £900 a month but I liked my neighbours, they were kind and I felt safe. When I had
my daughter I got to know lots of people and my neighbours looked after me. I felt very settled. Then my daughter started school and she made lots of friends. She is a clever girl and loves school, her teachers and
her friends.
When I was a child we had to move around a lot and I never had friends and didn’t do well at school because I was never there long enough. I was very happy I could make my daughter’s life more settled and secure.
One day I got a letter from my landlord, it said he was going to fix the damp and decorate the bathroom and hallway. I was so happy. But after he did the decorating he put the rent up and for months I paid the extra rent but had to go to food banks for food and couldn’t afford to
put the heating on. Then I needed to buy school uniform and shoes and fell behind on the rent. The landlord was putting pressure on me and I just couldn’t cope.
I went to see the council to see if they could help in anyway, help with my rent or help find me somewhere else to live. They said I wasn’t entitled to anymore housing benefit and I should start to look for a cheaper place to live.
We are now living in Upton, in East London. I don’t know the area, I have no friends here, I feel all alone and exhausted all the time because I don’t want to take my daughter out of school in the middle of the year because
she is happy and settled and doing so well.
So, for the moment, we travel in from Upton every day and I hang around New Cross in the library and different community centres while my daughter is happy and confident at school. Then we travel back to Upton every evening. It is tiring and expensive, a lot of what I
save on rent is going on travel, but not all of it.
I know I will have to change schools soon but we didn’t ask for our rent to go up, we didn’t ask for our lives to made insecure, we didn’t ask to our lives to be turned upside down, it was someone else who decided this for us and that seems wrong.
Every child should have the chance for a safe and secure childhood that’s how they can do well and making children leave the school they love, their friends and teachers is unfair. She never did anything
wrong. It’s not her fault rents are so crazy in London and that there are not enough homes for people, is it?”