James Murray became the Deputy Mayor for Housing in 2016 and oversees the Mayor’s £4.8 billion affordable homes programme, which includes ‘Building Council Homes for Londoners’ – the first-ever City Hall initiative dedicated to building over 10,000 new council homes.
James has developed a more interventionist role for City Hall in homebuilding, leading on new policies to increase the level of affordable housing in planning applications. He also leads work at City Hall to improve the private rented sector, through initiatives like the London-wide Rogue Landlord Checker, and by developing the Mayor’s blueprint for introducing rent controls in London and improving tenants’ security.
Since 2016, James has overseen the doubling of City Hall’s rough sleeping budget and major extensions to severe weather shelters across the capital. He works with councils and the voluntary sector to help people in the capital who find themselves homeless and sleeping rough, and to lobby the national Government to address the root causes.
Before joining City Hall, James held the position of Executive Member for Housing and Development at Islington Council for six years. Whilst there, he led the borough’s new council homebuilding programme and he coordinated efforts across a number of London councils to raise the level of affordable housing in developments by reforming their approach to ‘viability assessments’.
James advised the current Mayor during his selection and election campaigns, and has advised the Leader of the Opposition on housing policy. Before serving Islington Council he worked in Parliament and he grew up in Ealing.