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Sadiq Khan more than doubles targets for new housing in London

Lse sadiq khan july 2017

London mayor Sadiq Khan has set a target of 66,000 new homes each year in the capital – more than double the 29,000 currently being built – of which 65 per cent need to be affordable

Khan has published targets for every borough in the capital ahead of his draft London Plan, set to be unveiled next month.

The figures were calculated through City Hall’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

Describing his new targets as ‘tough’, Khan said: ‘I cannot overestimate how terrible a situation we inherited. Successive prime ministers have failed to invest anywhere near enough in building new affordable homes.

‘The previous mayor stopped investing in homes for social rent altogether and cut the number of new affordable homes he funded to the lowest level since records began.

‘We can all see the results: too many luxury penthouses that only the very wealthiest investors can afford and nowhere near enough homes within reach of ordinary Londoners.’

But he admitted the borough targets would be unachievable without central government action.

He called for new powers for councils to borrow to invest in homes and a massive increase in government funding for housebuilding and infrastructure.

And he said the government would need to raise funding for affordable housing in London to around £2.7 billionn a year – more than five times current spending levels.

The executive director of housing at business representative organisation London First, Jonathan Seager, said housing was one of the most serious challenges facing business, ‘preventing firms from recruiting and retaining the talent they need to grow and succeed’.

He said: ‘The only way London can significantly increase housebuilding is through additional government investment and the further devolution of powers to City Hall.’

Khan’s proposals have not gone down well in all quarters.

Kingston Upon Thames council leader Kevin Davis expressed disappointment at the mayor’s target for his borough of 1,364 new homes a year.

‘The figures published by the mayor are about double our own estimates of housing need and therefore our initial response is huge scepticism as to their appropriateness for Kingston or the ability of the mayor to deliver enough infrastructure to support them,’ he said.

‘Until we see the detail of how the mayor has arrived at these enormous figures, it is difficult to comment further but we will be engaging with our residents and responding to the mayor in due course.’


Readers' comments (4)

  • The message is clear: the Mayor wants more Affordable homes, which must be welcomed. What's also clear is he has limited funds and powers to achieve it. I only hope that the upping of the rhetoric doesn't result in political mud slinging instead of much needed government action.

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  • The word "affordable" in the London context is meaningless, or rather as Orwellian Newspeak, meaning the opposite of what it says.
    What is needed is more social housing, a scrapping of right-to-buy (as has been done in Scotland and Wales), a punitive tax on foreign buyers to cool the market, as has been introduced in Vancover and capping of the levels of private rent (as they have in Germany). Then and only then might we hope that a boost in building activity would benefit Londoners, rather than leading to more social cleansing as we have seen in Southwark, Lambeth and noteably on a huge scale being pursued in Haringey i.e. the auctioning off of public wealth to swell the coffers of the already unseemly rich.

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  • MacKenzie Architects

    Countless governments of London have allowed unrestricted growth in the capital without any understanding of the infrastructure and housing required to support it.
    Jubilee Line extension, Rail hubs development, Crossrail, sewage upgrade and all the other recent initiatives, are all decades late.
    Housing -other than for foreign foreign currency safe havens- has been basically ignored as an issue.

    A glossy brochure by the Mayor's Office is not likely to make anything happen either.
    The solution is to move employment out of London, and give people a better life outside the M25 with a bit of fresh air and no congestion charge.
    What politician is likely to reduce the number of people who could vote for him, though?

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  • Sadiq Khan is faced with the crippling failure of successive Westminster governments to tackle the scandalous abuse of British (notably London) housing as an internationally traded commodity.
    Given the backgrounds of some of our national rulers there's little ground for optimism, and they remind me of that old story of the marauding baboon who's trapped with his arm in the farmer's narrow-necked storage pot. Too greedy to let go of a fistful of grain, too short sighted to see that he's facing oblivion if he doesn't.

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