Read more: Is the government right about “sink estates”?
London’s housing crisis isn’t going away. Recent figures show that in the second half of 2015, registrations to build new homes in the capital fell by nine per cent—down to 26,000. This is despite the city’s population growing by four times that a year, and a recent poll showing that Londoners think housing is the number one issue facing the capital.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been in his post for eight years now. Is he responsible for the shortage? Should he have used his planning powers more effectively? Or is it unreasonable to attribute such a big phenomenon to just one man?
Our expert panellists, including Richard Blakeway, a Deputy Mayor of London and Nicky Gavron, Labour’s Planning Spokesperson on the London Assembly, offer their views.
The best strategy yet
Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor of London for Housing
To suggest that a single individual is to blame for London’s housing shortage is clearly absurd. There has been a thirty-year failure to build enough homes to meet an unprecedented population growth.
The Mayor has produced the most comprehensive London housing strategy yet to address this huge challenge. He has set the most ambitious housing target in City Hall’s history, making planning authorities and developers raise their game. This has seen records smashed for construction orders, housing starts and planning consents. The Mayor is on track to deliver 100,000 affordable homes over his two terms and last year more affordable homes were built than in any year since 1981. He has released all of City Hall’s surplus land, created 20 new housing zones to accelerate development and infrastructure and pioneered measures to support renters and first time…