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Livingstone demands 31,500 new London houses each year

London mayor Ken Livingstone has said he wants more than 31,500 new homes built in the capital every year - an increase of 8,500 on previous targets.

Livingstone has based his demands on a new London Housing Capacity Study which assessed the housing potential of 4,464 sites, each larger than 0.5ha, across the capital's 32 boroughs.

With an estimated backlog of 112,000 London households 'in housing need' the mayor is keen to drive massive residential development in the city.

Livingstone said: 'Without a dramatic increase in the supply of new homes we face a future where overcrowding gets worse and worse; where high housing costs keep thousands in the housing benefit trap and where more and more Londoners are simply priced out of the housing market.'

He added: 'London also has a huge backlog of housing need, particularly a need for more affordable housing.'

According to estimates London's population is projected to rise from 7.3 million in 2001 to 8.1 million in 2016, leading to an overall increase of 336,000 households.

Livingstone is all too aware of the figures. He said: 'Delivering this volume of housing will be a major challenge.

'Substantial levels of central-government funding for affordable housing will be a key ingredient in helping us to provide the homes that the city desperately needs and that this study shows we can deliver.'

by Richard Waite

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