• Sunday, September 24, 2023


London sees record housing starts as Sadiq Khan seeks to address ‘crisis’

The mayor’s office said City Hall-funded affordable homes have been started in every borough with Greenwich and Ealing leading the way

London mayor Sadiq Khan (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A record number of affordable homes were started in London last year as Mayor Sadiq Khan seeks to address the city’s “housing crisis”.

City Hall on Monday (15) said 25,658 affordable homes were started in the British capital in 2022/23, the most for a year since the Greater London Authority began keeping records in 2002.

This compares with 18,840 affordable homes started in 2021/22.

Both councils and housing associations have been empowered to build houses under the Affordable Homes Programme and 116,000 homes have been delivered since Khan became mayor in 2016.

His office said City Hall-funded affordable homes have been started in every borough with Greenwich and Ealing leading the way.

Every borough has seen more than 2,000 affordable homes started by either the council or housing associations, it said.

Khan, who vowed to “build a London for everyone”, said the housing crisis was “turbo-charging inequalities”, making the city “less meritocratic and more divided.”

“We’ve completed more homes of all types than at any time since the 1930s,” the mayor said adding, “We hit our target of starting 116,000 new genuinely affordable homes, we’ve exceeded it.”

He, however, admitted it would take time to resolve the crisis as demand is outstripping supply and his efforts would be “a marathon, not a sprint”.

“Even though we’re breaking records, I know not all Londoners will see or feel this progress yet,” the Labour politician said.

“I’ve always been honest with Londoners – that the housing crisis was decades in the making and it will take time to fix” and “we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.

Khan also urged the government to arm him with the powers to introduce a rent control system for London that would allow him to “freeze rents and give renters badly needed respite.”

According to affordable housing provider MTVH’s chief executive Geeta Nanda, tackling the housing crisis in London is an absolute priority for G15 housing associations.

The G15 chair called for partnerships across the housing sector and between different tiers of government to deliver homes to people.

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