Can the London Mayoral Candidates deliver on their property promises?

publication date: Mar 25, 2016
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author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Can the London Mayoral Candidates deliver on their property promises?

The Mayor is responsible for developing and producing a housing strategy to invest in London’s housing and to meet the needs of London’s growing population. The London Assembly reviews the Mayor’s housing strategy, recommends improvements to it and tests the efficiency and effectiveness of its delivery.

The subject of housing can cover many issues, including: homelessness, overcrowding and rough sleeping; the quality of London’s housing; housing supply; the private rented sector.

Conservatives – Zac Goldsmith
Pledging not to raise the mayor-controlled element of council tax at the same time as giving Transport for London the funding it says it needs to upgrade the Tube. He says he would ensure 50,000 new homes are being built every year in London by 2020 but has also vowed to protect greenbelt land.
Doubling home building to 50,000 a year by 2020 and ensuring development is in keeping with the local area
Giving Londoners the first chance to buy new homes built in London
Ensuring a significant proportion of all new homes are only for rent and not for sale

Read - Renting a Property Quick Guide

Labour - Sadiq Khan
His idea is to build a minimum of 80,000 homes a year and specify that 50% of new housing built on public land must be designated as affordable.
Homes for Londoners
Sadiq will set up a new team at City Hall dedicated to fast-tracking the building of genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy.
Putting Londoners first
Sadiq will set a target for 50 per cent of all new homes in London to be genuinely affordable, and use mayoral powers and land to stop 'buy-to-leave' and to give 'first dibs' to first-time buyers and local tenants. He will end the scandal of thousands of homes in new developments being sold off-plan to overseas investors each year.
More investment in housing
The Tory Mayor has failed to invest £400 million of his affordable homes budget. Sadiq will use this and support housing associations in their plans to ensure a minimum of 80,000 new homes a year.
Land for homes
Sadiq will bring forward more land owned by public bodies like TfL and use the Mayor's new homes team to develop that land. This will enable more homes to be built where they are needed, rather than where developers think they can make the most money.
London Living Rent
Sadiq will create a new form of affordable housing, with rent based on a third of average local income, not market rates. A new form of tenure, more affordable, and giving you the chance to save for a deposit.
Set up a new body, Homes for London, uniting councils, developers, investors, businesses and residents’ organisations.
Action for private renters
Sadiq will establish a London-wide not-for-profit lettings agency to promote longer-term, stable tenancies for responsible tenants and good landlords across London.
Action on Landlords
Sadiq will work with boroughs to set up landlord licensing schemes – naming and shaming bad landlords and promoting good ones so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Read - How to Avoid a Rogue Landlord

Other Parties

LibDem - Caroline Pidgeon
Her flagship policies include half-price fares for journeys starting before 07:30 and scrapping the Garden Bridge.

“The shortage of affordable homes in London remains the gravest crisis facing our city, with over 500,000 people languishing on housing waiting lists and with far too many families living in overcrowded homes.

“For decades London has failed to build enough new homes, driving up rents and putting property prices well beyond the reach of most ordinary Londoners.

“Our budget amendment unashamedly says that just as Londoners’ rose to the challenge and helped to fund the Olympic and Paralympic Games it is now time a similar commitment was shown to building new affordable homes."

The proposals would deliver 50,000 new low rent ‘council’ homes over the next four years – delivering a scale of homebuilding not seen since the days of the London County Council and the Greater London Council. The proposals would also deliver 100,000 new jobs in the building industry.

Green - Sian Berry
Sian Berry has said that as mayor she would get rid of City Airport, establish a renters' union and introduce "flat fares" across London travel zones.

UKIP - Peter Whittle
Spoken extensively about the effects of migration from the EU on the capital, particularly in relation to housing.

How do the policies compare?

Number of new homes:

  • Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) promises 50,000 new homes built per year by 2020.
  • Sadiq Khan (Labour) promises a minimum of 80,000 new homes with 50% designated affordable'
  • Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrat) promises 50,000 new low rent ‘council’ homes over the next four years.

Renters

  • Zac Goldsmith promises to ensure a significant proportion of all new homes are only for rent and not for sale.
  • Sadiq Khan promises to create a new form of affordable housing, with rent based on a third of average local income, not market rates.
  • Sian Berry (Green Party) promises to establish a renters' union.

Londoners

  • Sadiq will set a target for 50 per cent of all new homes in London to be genuinely affordable, and use mayoral powers and land to stop 'buy-to-leave' and to give 'first dibs' to first-time buyers and local tenants.
  • Zac Goldsmith wants to give Londoner's the first chance to buy new home in London.
  • Caroline Pidgeon says “Our budget amendment unashamedly says that just as Londoners’  helped to fund the Olympic and Paralympic Games it is now time a similar commitment was shown to building new affordable homes."

 


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