Bridget Fox, Liberal Democrat List candidate for the London Assembly, writes:
London faces a severe housing crisis. This problem will only get worse as our population continues to grow. One million more people are expected to be living in London by 2030.
Everywhere I go, people tell me they are concerned about housing – whether it is the long housing waiting lists, unaffordably high private rents or rogue landlords who rip you off. We have young people unable to make their first steps on the property ladder, or under threat from unscrupulous landlords, and too many families living in overcrowded housing. For the average Londoner it will take 13 years of saving before they can afford their first home.
One in five rented households are overcrowded. That means nearly 400,000 children are affected, seriously impacting their school work and future life chances. This is unacceptable in modern Britain. Progress has been too slow and not always focused where the need is greatest – what Londoners need now is action. In Islington, Liberal Democrats built the first new council housing in 25 years and oversaw the successful regeneration of Market and Packington housing estates.
London Liberal Democrats will build 360,000 new homes in the capital - including bringing 50,000 empty homes back into use. We will create a London Housing Company as a way of matching public land with the necessary private investment. We will take the lead on clamping down on rogue landlords, providing boroughs with the support and resources they need to ensure effective intervention.
The Mayor of London actually has the powers to make a real difference – he just hasn’t shown effective political leadership. That’s why we need a body like Homes for London to work with the boroughs to make a real difference. Come May, I and my fellow Lib Dems on the London Assembly will be holding the Mayor to account on the issues that matter to Londoners. We need an organisation that is unashamed in putting housing at the centre of London’s agenda, with the necessary momentum to provide the housing solutions millions of Londoners are crying out for.
I am proud to fully support the aims of Shelter and its Homes for London campaign and look forward to working together in the future.
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