Brent and Harrow
5 May 2016 Vote for
Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
Labour Party Londonwide

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London Assembly's Planning Committee will look at the housing crisis

I was on London Live this morning discussing what is happening today at London Assembly’s Planning Committee. I will be hearing from experts on how to design homes that meet family needs.

The committee will be looking at is how we can increase the capital’s housing density through innovative design, without sacrificing the quality or sustainability we have come to expect.

The capital is facing a growing housing crisis and its vital we find new and innovative ways to build the homes, for both individuals and families, that Londoners are crying out for.

Watch my interview here:

http://www.londonlive.co.uk/news/2015-03-18/how-can-london-build-more-housing

 

The Mayor is “accepting defeat” in battle against housing crisis

Mayor Boris Johnson is “accepting defeat in the battle to tackle London’s housing crisis” after setting a target to build just 42,000 new homes a year. Boris Johnson has set the target despite his own evidence showing that 62,000 must be built to clear the backlog on housing waiting lists in Brent and Harrow and across London within ten years.

The house building targets were included in alterations to the Mayor’s controversial London Plan which were pushed through last week despite me and the majority of London Assembly Members voting against the proposals. The Mayor’s “unambitious” target would leave the capital stuck with an ever-deepening housing crisis. Particular concerns were raised that the affordable housing targets within the plan, for only 17,000 new affordable homes a year, would come nowhere near to meeting the needs of Londoners.

Despite setting a target for 42,000 new homes each year, the Mayor recognised that tens of thousands more were necessary to meet London’s growing housing need. Instead of including these in his target, the Mayor has said he expects Local Authorities to make up the difference but failed to give any strategic direction as to how councils could achieve the 20,000 extra homes that are needed to bridge the gap.

The vote came in the same week that the capital’s population hit record limits, reaching 8.6m for the first time. It also came a week after a new report from the Chartered Institute of Housing found that 76% Londoners now believe there is a housing crisis in their area.

By setting a house building target well below what his own evidence shows we need, the Mayor is accepting defeat in the battle to tackle London’s housing crisis. Boris Johnson’s complete absence of ambition could lock us into this worsening housing crisis for years.

We need creative and ambitious solutions if we are to successfully tackle the capital’s housing crisis. These targets completely underestimate the need for new housing in areas like Brent and Harrow and offer no new plans on how the Mayor proposes to increase the number of homes being built. In Brent and Harrow and across London, we need to see genuinely affordable housing being prioritised. What we don’t need is yet more overly-expensive luxury flats which most Londoners could never afford.

Boris Johnson has had seven years now to come up with a plan to tackle London’s housing need, instead we’ve seen rocketing house prices and rental charges, and not enough homes to meet demand. This was the Mayor’s final opportunity to put in place a legacy which would leave London able to build its way out of this housing crisis. He has failed to do so and sadly it is people in Brent and Harrow and Londoners in general who will suffer as a result.

 

ENDS

 

Notes

 

-       At the Plenary meeting on 6th February 2015, 14 Assembly Members voted against the plan and 8 in favour. To overturn the Mayor’s London Plan would have required a 2/3 majority.

-       New polling from the Chartered Institute of Housing shows that 76% of Londoners think there is a housing crisis in their area.

-       The Mayor’s own evidence base found that 62,000 new homes per year would be required to clear London’s backlog of housing need within ten years or 49,000 within twenty years. Despite this the Mayor’s alterations to the London Plan propose building only 42,000 new homes per year. The evidence base is available at The London Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment 2013 (p6).

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12th February 2015