Posted: 3rd May
Which London mayor candidate will fix the capital’s housing crisis?
This week London voters will be electing a new mayor to replace Boris Johnson. The candidates are doing their best to win our votes with their promises to make London bigger and better, but with a recent YouGov poll showed that housing is the top political concern for the capital’s voters, where do the candidates stand on housing?
At present, Greater London is home to over 8.6 million people, who live in roughly 3.5 million households. By 2031, the population is expected to have risen to 10 million and the number of households to four million.
In recent years, around 25,000 new residential properties have been completed each year in Greater London, but estimates say this number needs to double.
But hitting such a target would require, among other things, a lot of public “brownfield” land being redeveloped, suburban boroughs embracing rapid housing growth and building being permitted on precious green belt land.
What are the candidates from the three main parties pledging to do about it?
Here are the key points as they see them:
Zac Goldsmith, Conservative candidate
- A target of 50,000 homes a year for London
- A pan-London investment fund for overseas investors to finance new homes
- Focus on releasing publicly-owned brownfield land
- Putting empty homes back on the market
- A London-first bias for new developments
- Ensure rogue landlords are brought to justice
Sadiq Khan, Labour candidate
- Switch conversions of affordable rent homes back to social rent
- Set up a New Homes Team in City Hall that would act as a developer of new homes for social rent, London Living Rent and first-time buyers
- Introduce a 50% affordable housing target for any new development
- Use mayoral planning powers to prevent ‘buy-to-leave’ housing and put first-time buyers and local tenants first
- Bring forward more land owned by public bodies like Transport for London for development, and work with boroughs to identify all available brownfield land in public and private ownership that is suitable for development
- Set up a London-wide not-for-profit letting agency
Caroline Pideon, Liberal Democrat candidate
- 200,000 homes built over the next four years.
- Use the mayor’s planning powers to more effectively encourage home building, with 150,000 new homes for sale or for private rent.
- Introduce a guideline that half of new housing should be affordable for the majority of Londoners.
- Build 50,000 council homes to rent
- Crackdown on rogue landlords by extending mandatory registration and offering long tenancies, tackling letting agent fees and giving tenants extra rights when landlords sell.