26th November 2013 Blog
This blog is a short response in City:AM to Boris’ housing strategy, published on 25th November 2013
Boris Johnson is failing to deal with London’s housing crisis.
Yesterday’s draft strategy contained little more than waffle, and a significant lack of realistic ideas. London deserves better.
The “strategy” contained nothing new, and very little strategy at all. Housing zones are just another buzz concept Boris has introduced into his confusingly opaque vernacular (also including “mayoral development corporations” and “opportunity areas”), none of which seem to mean very much. Of the 33 opportunity areas Boris has identified, he only has a plan for the development of 10, so why think housing zones will be any more successful?
Even more concerning is the unwillingness to face reality in terms of a legitimate target. Boris is underestimating the need for housing; he says we need 42,000 new homes a year, yet he only built 18,000 last year, and independent experts say we really need 60,000. London’s population is heading towards 10m. We need houses, not waffle. Fast.