Tomorrow, Londoners will vote for the capital’s next mayor. But which London mayoral candidate will work best towards solving the housing crisis?
Housing remains the number one issue for many living in the capital, with a lack of supply causing spiralling house prices. Research from ComRes confirms that the housing crisis will be the main determining factor in who is elected tomorrow.
In a bid to address the capital’s chronic shortage of supply, the leading London mayoral candidates have put housing at the core of their manifestos, with front-runners Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith both calling the election a “referendum on housing”.
The Residential Landlords Association has also released its own London mayoral manifesto, detailing what it thinks should be done to solve the housing crisis.
As house prices soared under the two most recent London mayors – Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson – the next mayor will be put under great pressure to do more to make London more affordable.
Which London Mayoral Candidate Will Solve the Housing Crisis?
Residential property prices are now at least ten times the average salary in 28 of London’s 33 boroughs, with prices in many of London’s most expensive areas now out of reach for all but the super-rich. Worryingly, however, it is believed that even the wealthiest of Londoners are having to turn to the private rental sector.
So which candidate will solve the capital’s housing crisis?
Labour’s Sadiq Khan has promised to deliver 80,000 new homes in London every year, 50% of which will be affordable. He plans to build these homes on brownfield land. Khan also wants to form a new homes division in City Hall, set up a not-for-profit letting agency, restrict rent rises, and invest more in the London Affordable Homes Programme.
Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative candidate, has also vowed to focus on releasing publicly owned brownfield land for the construction of more residential properties, hoping to deliver 50,000 new homes in London per year by 2020. This would be financed in part by a new pan-London investment fund for overseas investors. He also aims to bring thousands of empty homes back into use, clamp down on rogue landlords, and introduce longer-term tenancies.
The Liberal Democrat candidate wants to boost new housing supply in the capital, including a substantially higher amount of council homes at affordable rent prices. She also plans to make all private landlords in the capital registered, introduce a right to buy scheme for tenants if their landlord decides to sell, abolish letting agent fees for tenants, and introduce three to five-year tenancies.
The Green Party’s Sian Berry would like the Mayor of London to be given greater rent controls, as part of an effort to help private tenants in the capital. She also believes there should be a voluntary register of landlords, as well as a new Renters’ Union, financed by City Hall, designed to provide tenants with greater support and advice.
Peter Whittle, of UKIP, has pledged to lobby for sensible migration levels to help restrict demand for housing, alongside boosting housebuilding levels. He claims that producing a comprehensive registry of all London brownfield sites is crucial to increasing the supply of land for housebuilding. Whittle plans to tax buy-to-let landlords at a higher rate if they leave their properties empty, and offer long-term residents in London priority when it comes to social housing.
Who will you be voting for?