With the London mayoral election just around the corner, we’ve been taking a look at what the frontrunners have been saying about housing. Housing has been top of the agenda for British politicians of all stripes for years and the mayoral candidates are looking for a new, compelling offer that cuts through the noise of the starter homes and help to buy policies.
This election will revolve around housing, and the candidate seen to win this one policy argument will be well placed to go on to win City Hall.
Along with the usual promises of ‘genuinely affordable’ housing and delivery targets for completed homes, both frontrunners have alighted upon two popular new targets.
The first, build-to-rent, acknowledges that most of London’s young electorate are not looking to buy in the near future. Zac Goldsmith has committed that a significant proportion of his promised 50,000 new builds a year will be ‘only for rent’. Labour is arguing for new financial powers to issue bonds to fund investment in the sector.
Second, both candidates have recognised the mutual interest of wealthy homeowners in Westminster and housing campaigners in curtailing ‘foreign investors’ using London’s homes as investments. Goldsmith has guaranteed that all new homes built on mayoral land will only be sold to those who have lived or worked in the Capital for three years, while Sadiq Khan has promised that homes will be offered to Londoners first.
This election will be a close one and we can expect more progress on these ideas when the manifestos are published next month.