To coincide with the Liberal Democrat opposition day debate in Parliament on the ‘State of the nation’s housing market’ Caroline Pidgeon today promised an ‘Olympic effort” when she becomes Mayor of London that would deliver more 50,000 new low rent ‘council’ homes over the next four years, built by a new construction company operating out of City Hall – delivering a scale of homebuilding not seen since the days of the London County Council and the Greater London Council.
Another 150,000 homes she wants to see built throughout the capital would be a mixture of market sale properties, private rental homes and intermediate “affordable,” including “rent-to-buy” dwellings for first time buyers.
The Liberal Democrat candidate also promised that her proposals would deliver 100,000 new jobs in the building industry, as she called for a construction academy to be set up in the capital, also run by City Hall
Ms Pidgeon plans to fund the ambitious home building programme by continuing to charge the average Londoner the £20 they already pay in their Council Tax that was used to fund the 2012 Olympic Games. This income would provide the long term revenue stream to allow responsible borrowing to take place unleashing a massive £2 billion long term boost to housing investment in London.
Caroline Pidgeon said:
“The shortage of affordable homes in London remains the gravest crisis facing our city, with over 500,000 people languishing on housing waiting lists and with far too many families living in overcrowded homes.
“For decades London has failed to build enough new homes, driving up rents and putting property prices well beyond the reach of most ordinary Londoners. You’ve got to boost supply, and I’m not going to rely on the private sector to do that because they just haven’t delivered. They will find any excuse not to build genuinely affordable homes.”
“I unashamedly say that just as people rose to the challenge and helped to fund the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is now time a similar commitment was shown to building new affordable homes. This Government is trying to get rid of council housing – I want to bring it back so Londoners can afford to stay in the capital.”
“We should also seek to address the skills shortage in the building trade in London, by taking a cue from TfL’s tunnelling academy which trains up young people. With Government devolving the skills funding and further education budget to London we can train up young people by setting up a construction academy and equip Londoners with the tools they need to help build the homes London needs”