Conservative Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey (pictured) has announced plans to create ‘Housing for London’, a City Hall-controlled home builder to clear London’s multi-generational housing backlog. Housing for London will “recapture the spirit and will of the Harold Macmillan era of British house building”.
The grand initiative aims to address London’s multi-generational housing backlog by assuming control of the building process – exercised using powers already in the Mayor’s possession, controlling the process from site planning to construction.
He will even direct the building of homes for high-priority groups like the police, teachers and young Londoners.
Housing for London will be formed as an advisory and consultative body directly answerable to the Mayor, to identify the best sites for thriving new communities, using Mayoral Development Corporations under the Localism Act 2011 to develop each site in partnership with borough councils.
Director of lettings and estate agent Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr (left), said, “Great news, one politician has given serious thought about addressing London’s housing crisis and building the homes that our current Mayor promised but has so far failed miserably on delivering.”
Bailey says that a new approach is needed. Despite London’s population increasing by nearly two million people since the turn of the Millennium, building has not kept pace. As a result, home prices and rents have shot up to unaffordable levels as demand outstrips supply.
The average flat price in London is now nearly £500,000, while the average income is £40,000. This disparity means a deposit of 20% now takes the average Londoner – who pays 41% of their income to rent – decades to save. The dream of home ownership is drifting further out of reach.
Shaun said, “If a politician stands in front of you and promises you more housing under the current scheme, they are mugging you off. They are lying to you. I’m going to remove politics from the problem of inadequate housing provision. I’m going to change the system. A generational change. I’ll get it right.
“I will announce the biggest boost to London housing since the halcyon days of Macmillan. We mustn’t let developers hold us to ransom. We will build the houses, our own housing provider not motivated by profit but by delivery.”
Tom Gatzen, co-founder of London room share platform, ideal flatmate, said, “There’s absolutely no doubt that the government’s failure to provide more homes has pushed up both property and rental prices to new highs of unaffordability, with homes becoming financially further out of reach, while our ability to save for them in the first place heads in the other direction.
As a result, we’ve seen more people reliant on flat and house shares within London. However, this bold new policy by Shaun Bailey certainly seems like it will go some way in solving the issue of housing supply in the capital.”
Housebuilding statistics for London