London ‘needs 66,000 new homes a year’
London needs to build 66,000 homes a year to address years of underinvestment and a chronic housing shortage, according to figures released by Mayor Sadiq Khan today.
Some £2.7 billion a year in government funding is needed to build affordable homes alone - but current funding is less than a fifth of this, at around £500 million.
The Mayor has called on the Government to drastically boost the money allocated for affordable homes in its Budget on 22 November and give the capital greater powers to tackle the housing shortfall.
"Londoners know better than anyone that there has been a systematic failure for decades to build enough new homes that are genuinely affordable," Sadiq said, warning that without major investment the housing crisis risks spiralling further.
"In the worst cases it can affect social cohesion, cause poor health and plunge residents into poverty."
A “terrible” inherited situation from London’s previous mayor, combined with successive prime ministers failing to invest in affordable home building has fuelled the crisis, he added.
The number of social rent homes built under the former mayor dropped to 336 in his final year in office, with nothing in the pipeline, meaning not a single home was funded last year. Funding for affordable homes also fell 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 the reach of ordinary Londoners,” Sadiq said.
The Mayor has secured a record-breaking £3.15 billion from the Government to build 90,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2021. However, this is still far below previous government spending that reached £1.75 billion a year in 2009/10.
Kathleen Scanlon, a research fellow at the London School of Economics, said: “The UK as a whole doesn’t have a housing crisis - London and the south east do.
“London’s elected authorities could do much more to address the housing issue if they had the tools that major cities in other countries take for granted - particularly around taxation,” she said.
LONDON’S HOUSING CRISIS IN NUMBERS
66,000 - number of new homes needed in London each year
65% - percentage that need to be affordable to meet demand
£0.5 billion - annual government funding for affordable homes
£2.7 billion - funding required annually to meet demand
0 - number of social rent homes funded by previous Mayor in final year in office