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Monday, 9 April, 2001, 08:14 GMT 09:14 UK
Church tenants protest over rent hikes
terraced housing in south London
Affordable housing is in short supply in London
The Church of England is to raise rents on 1,000 homes ending more than a century of affordable housing.

Local vicars say the plan flies in the face of everything the church stands for.

They will join hundreds of tenants from Waterloo, south London, to protest against the rent hikes on Monday morning.

Church commissioners say they need to maximise their income to provide wages and pensions for the clergy.

Key workers

The commissioners added that rents will only go up when flats are vacated by existing tenants.

And some homes will be made available to key workers such as teachers and nurses, they said.

But Reverend Benny Hazlehurst from south London said that providing homes for "the rich" makes the church look hypocritical and will "increase social exclusion".

He will join several hundred tenants and other clergy to present a petition to the Church Commissioners' headquarters.

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