Mayor has to address housing shortfall and set more ambitious targets

17 February 2014

London has by far the highest rates of overcrowding in the country, with the number of overcrowded homes increasing by 23 per cent since the Mayor came to power in 2008 [1].

The London Assembly Housing Committee today warned the Mayor that his Draft Housing Strategy is not ambitious enough and that his house-building target falls short of the capital’s assessed needs.

In its response to the Draft Housing Strategy, the Committee notes that the Mayor’s own Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) has said that a minimum of 49,000 homes are needed per year, whereas the Mayor has only promised to deliver 42,000 – a 17 per cent shortfall.

The Committee also believes the Mayor’s target that at least 15,000 of these each year should be affordable homes is inadequate. There is an immediate need for the Mayor to build more affordable homes to tackle the backlog of housing needs for London’s middle to low income residents.

The number of rough sleepers has also been rising inexorably with some 6,500 people seen sleeping rough during 2012-13 [2] and London’s homeless acceptances have risen by 50 per cent between 2009 and 2012 [3]. The Draft Housing Strategy offers no new proposals on how to tackle either of these issues.

Darren Johnson AM, Housing Committee Chair, said:

“We are concerned the Mayor will fall drastically short in delivering enough homes, especially affordable homes, to meet the capital’s housing demand.

“With rental prices soaring and housing need outstripping supply, we urge the Mayor to reassess his housing targets and prioritise the intractable and long-term issues of overcrowding, homelessness and rough sleeping in London”.

Notes to editors

  1. DCLG Live Table 807 (English Housing Survey 2007-8) and Homes for London, the Mayor’s Draft London Housing Strategy, GLA, 2013 (p10)
  2. CHAIN Street to Home Report 2012-13, Broadway (p2)
  3. DCLG data cited in Homelessness in England, House of Commons Library, Dec 2013 (p26)
  4. London Assembly Response to Mayor’s Draft Housing Strategy
  5. Darren Johnson AM, Chair of the Housing Committee, is available for interview. See contact details below
  6. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor

For more details, please contact Alice Andrewartha in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 4603. For out-of-hours media enquiries please call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit, Greater London Authority, on 020 7983 4100.