Thursday, 05 March 2015

Shelter: next London mayor must prioritise homes

The next mayor of London must make housing a priority or risk pushing people out of the capital, a charity has warned.

Shelter, the housing charity, said that high house prices would force 30 per cent of people living in London out of the city while 65 per cent of people who do not own their own home don’t think they will ever be able to afford to buy in their area of London.

The findings coincide with the launch of Shelter’s new campaign, Homes for London, which demands that the next mayor of London gives housing the same leadership and profile given to transport through Transport for London.

The charity said that a typical deposit for a London home is now almost £85,000, with the median wage just £24,500.

Average rents in London are already more than double the national average, at more than £1,300 per month for a two bedroom property.

From May 2012, the next mayor will have new powers over the future of London’s housing, including control over the housing budget and public land.

Shelter said that unless the next mayor uses the full extent of these powers to fix London’s housing crisis, growing numbers of people will be left with no choice but to abandon the capital.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘Decades of failure to build enough affordable housing has left huge swathes of Londoners locked out of homeownership, pushed into a revolving door of private let after private let.

‘Unless something is done to fix London’s housing, we’re going to see a growing exodus of people, many of them families, who have simply given up hope of ever finding a stable and affordable place to live in the capital.

‘We need the next mayor to give London’s housing the same leadership and profile that we see for transport. This means bringing together a complex web of budgets and departments into a simple, public-focused agency that can drive the change we need.

‘We want Londoners to join our campaign and challenge the mayoral candidates on how they plan to use the new powers over housing to ensure that all Londoners have decent, affordable homes.’

The National Housing Federation is also calling on the mayoral candidates to make housing a priority and has produced a manifesto with ten main points.

Among the demands are: build us somewhere to live, kick start economic growth, free up the land we need to build on and don’t let welfare reforms push Londoners into poverty.

Readers' comments (10)

  • Chris

    '‘We need the next mayor to give London’s housing the same leadership and profile that we see for transport.'

    Whilst having a higher profile for housing is to be supported, it will be no good if the outcome is as it has been for transport. Do we really want to inject an disconnect across the sector, make essential services unaffordable, cut maintenance to dangerous levels and squeeze ever more savings by cutting staff further and further. If the aim for the housing sector is to force people to make other arrangements, or emigrate, then yes, following the approach to transport makes sense. Otherwise what is needed is addressing the under supply of housing that can be afforded by average and low waged persons and families, in communities that they chose to live in.

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  • "Ken, your friendly neighbourhood mayor, ready and willing to undertake the difficult task, which I and not Boris can only do, of building tens of thousands of homes with no dosh.

    "Now, about my tax affairs ... that's a completely different story. I never said I do what I say. But that doesn't apply to housing, or perhaps it does."

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  • He makes it sound like abandonding the city will mean the end of life itself.

    Heaven forbid people find jobs, or make lives for themselves outside of London! Where will they go? Anything north of London is akin to the wastes of a Mad Max type distant future and the south/south west is nothing but green fields and farms!

    I'd rather the whole city burn than Ken get back into power *shudder*

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  • Chris

    Can't we have both Narra ;-)

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  • Rick Campbell

    Homlessness for the last quarter of 2011 is well up on the previous year -- the solution might just be as simple as making sure there are enough homes?

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  • Shelter say you need a deposit of £85,000 to buy a property. The how is it a quick search on findaproperty, I can find two one bed flats for £70,000. I excluded high-rise tower blocks.

    Shelter are manipulating figures. A single person will start their journey on 1 bed property, not a 3 bedroom house....
    1 bedroom flat for sale £69,950 Church Road SE19
    1 bedroom flat for sale £70,000 Poplar Place, Thamesmead

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  • Chris

    Ehrm, Concerned Landlord - your first example is discounted because it is designated for elders - your second example is under offer already.

    Yes, there will be cheaper properties to find, but Shelter are stating average levels on the basis that more than 1 or 2 people may be requiring housing in the very near future.

    I can find two private landlords with a modicum of above average intelligence - that does not make a statement on the entire sector, does it!

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  • Chris: It was a quick 5mins search. Yes, correct the first is a retirement flat, but the other flat is not under offer unless you rang up the agent. In any case, you can get a flats in London for the price of a deposit....

    It is a bit like Shelter saying people can't afford 4x4 BMWs, when people could do with a Ford or Vauhall as their first car...

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  • Chris

    No, it's like saying that people need a massive sum of money as a deposit if they are to find a home to fit their needs.

    One flat may be the exception, but it is hardly an option for the other thousands of young couples looking to start a family life, and the other thousands of singles looking for a decent home, and the other thousands currently trapped paying rents they can't afford whilst trying to save for a mortgage. They can't all live in the one flat Concerned Landord - now I know that may be a concept hard for a private landlord to grasp .........!

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  • mmm....I found plenty of properties at £70k... and it only took me 5mins.

    Based on a 20% deposit, Shelter are saying you can't get anything less than £425,00....

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