Congratulations to Mayor Sadiq Khan on his first 100 days in office!
Compass and the Good London project welcome Sadiq Khan’s pledges on housing; while his shared ownership and social rent schemes are both a step in the right direction, the announcement of a living rent at 30% of the average local wage is particularly welcome. This will not solve the housing crisis, but it is a first step to ameliorating the situation for the growing number of unwaged, low waged and increasingly those earning average wages and above who are no longer able to afford to live in London. It’s a bold policy.
In his next 100 days, we would like to see the Mayor making real progress on plans to implement these policy pledges.
To start with, the Mayor should:
Define what genuinely affordable means and keep to his campaign pledge that at least 50% of new builds will be affordable; he will need to provide a broad strategy and plan for the implementation, including how developers and private owners will be held to account.
Put a stop to the Right-to-Buy scheme. With the growing housing shortage in London, growing homelessness, and the shortage of affordable housing the Mayor needs to take urgent action on this. He needs to lead the end of the Right-to-Buy in England, following its abolishment in Scotland and soon Wales.
Launch a public housing inquiry that consults members of civil society, residents, architects, local government and planning experts to find out how they want to see housing develop in London. The Mayor pledged to be the Mayor for all Londoners, if he is to succeed, he needs to listen to the people of this city and introduce democratic processes that make sure he puts all of us first. Housing would be a great start.
The housing crisis will not be solved through policies that only tackle housing; in the longer term the Mayor needs an urban regeneration plan to make it a city that works for all. This must include the rejuvenation of community, solidarity, democratic participation and public space. The Mayors #LondonIsOpen campaign is very positive and sending the right signals. We hope to see this continuing, coupled with concrete policies to make sure that this is not just a slogan, but a lived reality.
With thanks to the Trust for London for supporting the Good London project – you can read more from other grantees here.