london housing crisis
London is the love of my life. Our magnificent capital has been my happy home for 29 years. But every day my heart sinks a little lower, as I watch more flash developments slowly devour the city's vibrancy, diversity and soul. Billboards advertising "luxury flats coming soon" may as well read "your time is up, millennials!" The cost of living here is spiralling out of control, and the burden is becoming too much for the young to bear.
In the midst of this unprecedented housing crisis, London deserves a mayor who will truly appreciate their needs, and not, as the current Tory mayor has done, undermine councils' efforts to build affordable housing by overruling them. I want to see a city that gives the same opportunities to my children as my parents were able to give to me... A city where buying or renting a home for young people on average or below-average incomes is a reality and not a fantasy.
Investment in our area is bringing jobs and hope to our high street of a better quality of life for all. Yet our community is being fractured by a perfect storm of housing benefit caps, low wages, a lack of properties and speculation on prices. Increasingly developers are acting like vultures, picking the bones of Walthamstow's precious housing stock for quick profits...
The joyous climax of the Walthamstow housing awards is where Stella Creasy presents the prizes for the Best Estate Agent and Best Letting Agent, a fabulous bit of free advertising for them but a photo opportunity that seems astonishingly out of touch with the housing issues affecting many of her constituents.
There are many sites across the capital which could best be handled by looking beyond these property giants. This is why I am calling on public bodies to set aside at least ten per cent of its surplus land portfolio to small developers and self-builders.
Despite reports that the UK property market's ever-soaring prices were calming down, London continues to amaze as a tiny
Ordinary London families are being treated like counters on a Monopoly board by multi-millionaires like Richard Benyon MP and his family company, for whom housing in London is merely a business opportunity. Labour knows that housing is also about stable families and communities and we will shape our policies accordingly.