Sadiq Khan: ‘The biggest crisis’ facing Londoners is housing, London Mayor claims

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
“Even if we turn the tap on now, huge numbers of funding, it would take years to meet the backlog of homes not built.”

Housing is “the biggest crisis facing our city”, the London Mayor Sadiq Khan has claimed, as he reiterated his warning of a wave of repossessions expected to hit the capital.

Mr Khan has repeatedly called for the powers from government to amend housing policies in London in an attempt to tackle the current crisis.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

These include implementing some form of rent regulation, similar to that in Scotland, and suspending Right to Buy, which has led to thousands of council homes sold at a discount without being replaced.

Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow secretary for levelling up, housing and communities. Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow secretary for levelling up, housing and communities. Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow secretary for levelling up, housing and communities. Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images. | Getty Images

During the State of London Debate on June 29, at which members of the public can put questions to the mayor directly, Mr Khan said he believes “the biggest crisis facing our city is housing”.

Earlier this year, the mayor announced he had surpassed a government target of starting 116,000 affordable homes, declaring: “London is building again”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, during last night’s event, he said “successive governments haven’t built enough genuinely affordable housing for Londoners”.

“Even if we turn the tap on now, huge numbers of funding, it would take years to meet the backlog of homes not built.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Credit: Greater London Authority.The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Credit: Greater London Authority.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Credit: Greater London Authority. | Greater London Authority

Using Right to Buy as an example of how national policy has impacted London’s affordable housing stock, Mr Khan said since it was introduced in 1980, for every six homes sold, just one has been replaced.

The result, he continued, is that a growing number of people have been forced into the private rental market. In the short to medium term, he said he is focussed on fixing private renting, which he believes requires him being granted more powers to take on local issues.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think what a Labour government should do…is to devolve to London the decision whether we have rent controls,” he said.

While adding he is “hopeful” of receiving such powers from a potential Labour government, despite Ms Nandy’s recent comments, Mr Khan warned those at the event: “Over the next year, we are going to see homes repossessed at rates not seen since the ‘80s and ‘90s.”

The mayor recently wrote to the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Housing Secretary Michael Gove, urging them to “step up emergency support for households” in-light of rising mortgage rates.

This was prior to the Bank of England raising base interest rates from 4.5% to 5% in a bid to tackle inflation, currently at 8.7%.

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.