High Rents on St.Helier

High rents deter new residents

Visiting the Rent Office

Memories from James Jackson

The GLC rent collection

Big Brother is watching! John Young remembers

Photo:A rent book from the 1950s

A rent book from the 1950s

Rosemary Paul

In 1931, the Bishop of Southwark claimed that poor families living in underground basements in London were having to turn down the opportunity of being housed on St.Helier because of the high rents.  He said that many were in receipt of about 40/- a week in wages from which they paid 6/- to 10/- for their overcrowded and unhealthy accommodation.  Despite "enduring agonies of mind" over their children's well-being, they had to refuse better housing on St. Helier where rents ranged from 14/- to 20/-.*

Making ends meet

The cost of living on St. Helier in 1933

Speaking at a meeting in 1933 the Social Service organiser for St. Helier, Mr. J. Newsom, described the current living costs:

The average rent and rates of the houses were between 15s. and £1 a week.  The tenants earned possibly £3 a week each, which meant that perhaps a third of their incomes went in rent alone.  On top of this they had to pay their fares to and from London where most of them still worked, and insurance, lighting, heating, etc.  brought the outcome to probably fifty per cent of the man's income - this before he could feed or clothe anybody.  The problem was accentuated by unemployment or sickness.  The cost of living was higher than it was in London - there were no cheap markets where the women could buy joints of meat by auction or secure cods' heads for a few pence.**


*Wallington and Carshalton Times, 10 September 1931;  **Wallington and Carshalton Times, 16 March 1933

This page was added by Cheryl Bailey on 13/06/2010.

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