Publication from Darren Johnson (past staff): Where to build new homes?
We can’t just build our way out of London’s affordability crisis, but with a booming population there can be no doubt that London needs more homes.
The Mayor has struggled to find enough land to meet his own targets, and needs space for at least another 70,000 over the next decade.
This shortage is in spite of a number of problems with the land he has identified. London has experienced a large-scale loss of wildlife-rich brownfield sites in places like the Thames Estuary, developed for housing. We’re also seeing a worrying loss of industrial land running at twice the mayor’s target, and of in-demand office space. Estate regeneration is often promoted as a good way to build new homes, but in the past decade a flawed approach to this has meant the loss of over 8,000 social rented homes.
In this report, I propose five ways to find space for another 70,000 homes without those problems:
- Building up (on top of existing homes)
- Providing less car parking and more homes
- Making better use of small sites
- Community-led estate regeneration
- Setting up a People’s Land Commission
London’s housing crisis needs a comprehensive solution that reduces demand from investors, gives rent controls and better protections to private tenants, and that provides far more genuinely affordable housing. These ideas for securing more land should go into the mix to ensure every Londoner can enjoy a comfortable, affordable and secure home.