The London Housing Strategy is now published, following a 12-week public consultation between 6 September and 7 December 2017. 2,000 of you responded, and we have reviewed the strategy based on your feedback.
Alongside Talk London discussions, we carried out London-wide opinion research, including representative polling. We also consulted with over 200 organisations, including community groups.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond. We’ve seen more responses than to any other statutory housing strategy in the history of London mayoralty.
We’ve summed up some key parts of the strategy, your views and how you made a difference:
More affordable housing and first dibs for Londoners
The Mayor has negotiated with Government for an additional £1.67 billion to deliver 26,000 more genuinely affordable homes by 2022 – with the majority being for homes based on social rent levels. 70% of Londoners polled supported increasing the number of low-cost rented homes for Londoners.
Earlier this year, the Mayor revealed his ‘first dibs for Londoners’ plans on new homes after the housing industry responded to his call for change with an offer to sell lower-cost new properties exclusively to Londoners and UK-based buyers first. The London Housing Strategy sets this offer out in more detail. Close to 9 in 10 of you supported ‘first dibs’ plans.
Estate regeneration and involving residents in decisions about them
Many of you mentioned in our discussions that you wanted to be more involved in decisions about your local area or neighbourhood.
The London Housing Strategy promotes the use of resident ballots where demolition of affordable housing is proposed as part of significant estate regeneration schemes. The Mayor is also committing to work with community-led housing organisations to identify a pipeline of schemes by 2021 that have the capacity to deliver at least 1,000 homes.
The strategy also calls on the government to appoint a social housing tenant as a national Commissioner for Social Housing Residents. This proposal was well received by many of you in our online discussions. The Commissioner would act as a watchdog for social housing policy and ensure the voices of those living in social housing are heard by national policymakers.
Private rental standards
Most of you agreed that high rent was the biggest issue facing private renters. Also in your top three improvements for private renting was a Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker, which the Mayor has since introduced. All 33 local authorities have signed up to this Checker.
In the strategy, the Mayor also commits to explore how rental costs for Build to Rent homes can be monitored over time, recognising that consistent data on affordability of new Build to Rent homes is currently unavailable.
The vast majority of you felt that homelessness is getting worse in London. The London Housing Strategy sets out that the Mayor is willing to work with Government on the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act, including bringing agencies together to assist implementation where he considers this to be helpful, and continues to call on Government to provide adequate funding for councils to deliver their new duties. The strategy also incorporates proposals for a pan-London approach to refuge provision, which would make it more feasible to commission the specialist refuge provision that the capital is currently lacking.
A rough sleeping campaign, launched by the Mayor in December, has raised almost £200,000 for a coalition of 18 charities. The campaign also urged Londoners to use Streetlink to let homeless services know about rough sleepers. Referrals this year were 45% higher compared to last year.
Thanks again to everyone who took part!