The root of many of London’s housing problems is the longstanding problem of a lack of supply. The Mayor’s strategy addresses this with a bold plan to build at least 42,000 high quality homes per year – double what has been achieved in the last 20 years. It includes, for the first time, targets for purpose-built homes to relieve pressure on London’s private renters. It provides for a huge expansion of low cost homes for first time buyers. And we will see funding for the much-needed larger family homes that we have consistently been calling for, as well as building new homes for downsizers – freeing up more family housing for where it is really needed.
However, we must learn lessons from the 60’s and 70’s and stop building affordable housing for families above the third floor. In the 21st century, in a highly developed city such as London, it is nothing short of a scandal that children are being rammed into these high rises. Tower blocks are concrete warehouses for families – they fail to create strong communities, lead to isolation and a poor standard of living. Families with kids need gardens and neighbours they can interact with.