Ahead of the mayoral election next week, Labour candidate Ken Livingstone sets out his plans for housing
Constructing a cure
London’s housing is in crisis. Even the Tory mayor admits there is a crisis. Rents and prices are soaring while land sits idle, waiting lists grow and the existing stock of housing deteriorates. More and more homes fail to meet a decent standard, and thousands of constructions workers and associated jobs and professions have been lost.
All of these problems have the same cause. We simply aren’t building enough new homes, especially new affordable homes. There were just 56 new affordable homes started in London in the latest six month period. The Tory mayor admits to a crisis - but refuses to do anything
As mayor I will address the underlying cause of all these problems by building many more new affordable homes. But that will take time between start and completion. And the shortage is growing all the time.
So, some of the symptoms of the housing crisis have to be tackled directly. If elected I will:
- Establish a London non-profit lettings agency, which, by cutting out the profits of the rip-off lettings agents will lower rents
- Campaign for the London Living Rent - no-one in London should be forced to spend more than a third of their income in rent
- Introduce a Tenant’s Charter, so that anyone renting will be entitled to decent treatment on timely repairs and environmental health, deposits and rent increases
These pledges will help to address some of the key symptoms of the crisis. Private tenants can on average be £624 a year better off. Go to betteroffcalculator.com to find out how much.
The key to the crisis remains building more affordable homes. This is not the 80 per cent rents the Tory mayor allows. In some streets in London, the variance in price or rents is more than that. I will reintroduce the 50/50 targets; affordable means 50 per cent of market rents and half of all new developments should be affordable.
Crucially, I will use GLA resources to construct more affordable homes in London and tackle the housing crisis.
For all our coverage of the race to be the next mayor of London see our election page. The leading candidates will all be explaining their housing policies on our website this week.