Lib Dem mayoral candidate Rob Blackie pledges to create London-owned housing developer

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Rob Blackie has promised to create a London Housing Company to deliver affordable homes and release more publicly owned land.

The Liberal Democrats’ mayoral candidate has pledged to create a London-owned housing developer if elected next month.

Rob Blackie launched his housing policy at a new development in Sutton last Thursday morning emphasising the need to urgently build more homes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Blackie has promised to create a “London housing company” to deliver affordable homes and release more publicly owned land.

He said he would plans revise the London Plan to be “more ambitious on homebuilding targets” and make it “easier to accelerate home building”.

The 51-year-old says he would establish a “Good Developer” scheme, with accreditation awarded to developers that engage properly with local communities and deliver good quality projects for communities.

Speaking to LondonWorld in Wallington, Mr Blackie said: “There is a complete housing crisis in London. Rents have gone through the roof, people are finding it impossible to buy a house and that’s creating huge amounts of stress for people.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“At its root we’re just not building enough housing. London’s population has gone up by a million in recent years. We just haven’t built enough housing to deal with it. We’re trying to squeeze all of those people into existing housing.

“The only solution is to build more and if I’m elected as mayor we’ll have a Londonwide development company that builds its own housing so we can accelerate building lots of housing in London.”

Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate Rob Blackie at the launch of his housing policy in SuttonLiberal Democrat London mayoral candidate Rob Blackie at the launch of his housing policy in Sutton
Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate Rob Blackie at the launch of his housing policy in Sutton | Liberal Democrats

Commenting on Sadiq Khan’s pledge to build 40,000 council homes by 2030, Mr Blackie said we need to be building more than that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“That’s actually less than 10,000 a year. We need to be building more than 50,000 houses a year in London. We’ve also got to build social and private housing,” he said.

Sadiq Khan was joined by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for Mr Khan's launch event in WestminsterSadiq Khan was joined by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for Mr Khan's launch event in Westminster
Sadiq Khan was joined by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for Mr Khan's launch event in Westminster | Getty Images

Labour Party

Last week Mr Khan promised to build new ‘rent control homes’ if re-elected for a third term, with the promise to build 6,000 new affordable homes with capped rents in the first phase of the programme.

In his “New Deal for Renters”, Mr Khan has promised up to £4m in new funding for a London licensing hub to support boroughs to take action to support renters.   

He promised to hold landlords to account on housing standards, including freezing any funding they receive from City Hall when high standards are not met.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Khan pledged to work with a “future Labour government” to ensure licensing powers can be used to take action against the poorest-performing landlords.

“Renters are at the sharp end of the country’s housing crisis and need a mayor who’s prepared to fight their corner,” said Mr Khan.

“I’ve been calling for the power to freeze rents in the capital for years, but the government has refused. I’m not willing to stand by and do nothing so I commit to delivering new rent control homes across London, with 6,000 in the first phase. These will be homes for rent which key workers and middle-income Londoners can afford.”

Green Party mayoral candidate Zoe Garbett Green Party mayoral candidate Zoe Garbett
Green Party mayoral candidate Zoe Garbett | Lynn Rusk

Green Party

Green Party candidate Zoë Garbett launched her party’s manifesto with a pledge to expand council housing in London.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Under the “buy the supply” scheme, councils would be able to purchase existing family-sized homes from the market and acquire market homes from developers where sales and construction are stalled, by securing grants from the government.

The Hackney councillor has pledged to demand rent control powers for London and bring in a two-year freeze on rents if they are granted.

She promised to set up a “cold homes strategy” with an insulation and ventilation taskforce to deal with cold and damp homes, prioritising older people, disabled people and those with a terminal illness.

Conservatives

Conservative candidate Susan Hall has pledged to build more affordable family homes by reopening the London Plan.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She would bring back the London Land Commission to identify public sector brownfield land that can be used for housing.

Ms Hall pledged to adopt a new focus on high-density, low-rise family homes, inspired by the Create Streets model.

In total, 13 candidates are standing for the office of mayor of London for the next four years. The London mayoral election is on May 2, along with the election of London Assembly members. Voters are reminded they need photo ID following the introduction of new legislation.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.