About 50 persons gathered at the Tour & Taxis building in Brussels on Saturday for the launch of a Worker’s Party of Belgium, PTB, campaign calling for reduced home-rental prices in Brussels Region.
The “Baissons les loyers” campaign comes on the heels of an ordinance to that effect proposed recently by the PTB, as well as an online petition aimed at collecting thousands of signatures in favour of such a measure.
“More and more people are unable to pay their rent because prices have skyrocketed on the private market,” Françoise De Smedt, head of the PTB group in Brussels Parliament, explained.
“Right now Brussels has no rent-supervision rules, whereas in other European cities, rules have been put in place. In Berlin, for example, rentals went down by 10% in 2020.”
“This is a system we’d like to establish in Brussels,” the PTB parliamentarian added.
“Many people end up leaving the city because they can no longer afford decent housing,” Ms. De Smedt said. “We need to intervene now since we see that, despite the crisis, rents keep going up whereas many people are facing a drop in incomes. The gap may widen even further.”
The PTB feels rent should be tied directly to housing quality and price limits that landlords are obliged to comply with, need to be set.