Open Letter to All Potential Mayoral Candidates (A Response Would Be Nice)

01/06/2015 16:47 BST | Updated 01/06/2016 10:59 BST

London city! The business capital of Europe, the most visited capital of the world and home of the super-rich (106 billionaires)!

Renowned for its four Unesco world heritage sites, the 250 festivals that take place here every year, blacks cabs, West End shopping, Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the list goes on.

With a population of more than 8.6million people, the world's most diverse city is also home to 46% of the UK's ethnic minority population and over 300 languages are spoken here.

Saying all this London can be said to be a country of its own, this can be supported by the fact that London contributes almost a fifth of the UK's economy and has an economy that is bigger than European countries such as Belgium and Sweden.

As a Londoner, I am very proud of our booming city and have many positive things to say about it but there are also things I am not so proud about in regards to our lovely capital.

There are a range of issues, of which I pray that our current Mayor - if he is not busy being an MP in Uxbridge or attending David Cameron's political cabinet meetings - can address or most likely the next Mayor of London elected in May next year.

We have a massive housing issue in our capital. Social housing is becoming a scarce commodity despite more people needing it in London and private renting is taking almost half of tenants' income due to greedy and rogue landlords.

There is a rise in people living in overcrowded homes or poor living conditions, and even though we need to build 800,000 new homes by 2021 to keep up with the housing demand, we are not building more than 20,000 homes a year in London.

Homelessness is also a big issue when looking at the housing crisis in London. A recent report by Crisis shows that the numbers of people who are homeless in London have risen by almost 80% since 2010.

This is devastating given the fact that people who are sleeping rough on the streets are 35 times more likely to commit suicide than the average person and 13 times more likely to be a victim of violence crime than the general public.

If that's not bad enough, London is home to 80% of the national homeless children population and children in London are 20 times more likely to be in temporary accommodation than children in the rest of the UK.

To add insult to injury to the housing crisis in London, most of the population cannot even afford to buy a so-called "affordable home" in the capital either.

For a young Londoner and first-time home buyer like myself, I would have to be earning at least £77,000 to year to get onto the property ladder - absolutely ridiculous.

This sort of yearly income is unobtainable by many people living in the capital not just young people.

Given that the average person in London only earns £34,000 a year, home ownership for many Londoners is surely a myth. Even if you do not want to buy a home here and just rent a property, it would cost you no less than £1,000 a month, to rent a two-bedroom flat in most London boroughs.

Another big issue for many Londoners like myself is the cost of living. Let's take a look at transport fares for example.

Gone are days when I used to pay 40p (yes, 40p for those too young to remember) to get on a bus. Now I need £1.50.

Transport fares rise every year while the wages of Londoners do not. This means that people have less disposable income and are having their wages squeezed. Why cant we get transport prices frozen or reduced?

If we really want more people to get on public transport than drive vehicles, then fares need to be addressed.

The fares are going up but the level of service is not if you ask me anyway, so why are we paying more?

Many Londoners are also being priced out of their city due to the cost of living and having to relocate elsewhere in the UK, particularly those on low-incomes who cannot afford to rent a home here even when offered housing benefits.

The rising costs of food and utility bills are also alarming for many Londoners, who are getting less for the pound in their pocket.

Finally, despite London being home to thousands of millionaires, over a 100 billionaires and the business centre of Europe, poverty is a big problem here.

We still have 37% of all children in the capital living in poverty. There are as many poor children in London as in all of Scotland and Wales combined.

Over half of working-age adults and children in poverty in London live in a family where someone is in paid work.

What is also shameful is that with all the prosperity going on in our capital, almost 65,000 people are using food banks to survive.

Considering the points I have made above about the housing crisis, the cost of living crisis and poverty crisis we have in London, I would really appreciate if one of the potential mayoral candidates of our city could tell me how they would go about addressing these issues affecting our city and the lives of millions of people living in our capital like me.

What are your solutions?

Yours truly,

Kenny Imafidon