After pledging to build new homes on land owned by City Hall if elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has said he intends to fast-track scores of sites for development.
During a visit to Landmark Court in Southwark, which is owned by Transport for London, Khan announced that the wants to unlock the site, which he thinks is ripe for the building of at least 120 new homes.
Khan, who is aiming for 50 per cent of all new homes in London being genuinely affordable, also plans to bid to develop other public sector land across London.
He said he hopes to work with Government ministers to ensure a far more active role for City Hall in identifying surplus public land that can be used for the construction of the new affordable housing London needs.
“London gave me the opportunity to go from the council estate where I grew up to being able to buy a family home we could afford. But today, too many Londoners are being priced out of our city," Khan said.
One of the first things we did when we got to City Hall was open the books and look at what was already in the pipeline and it seems the previous mayor has grossly let down Londoners by leaving the cupboard bare when it comes to delivering affordable housing.
I am determined to fix London’s housing crisis and ensure that all Londoners have the opportunity to rent or buy a decent home at a price they can afford, but the scale of the challenge is now clearer than ever and we’re not going to be able to turn things around overnight.
We will be outlining our plans in the coming months, but one of the first things we can do is work with Transport for London to fast-track their numerous surplus sites for development that have previously just been sat on.
There is no doubt we have our work cut out, but I plan to personally get to grips with the mess that has been left behind and will insist on far higher levels of affordable housing in new developments.
In a busy week for Khan, he asked officials to produce an audit of City Hall's preparedness to tackle the housing crisis, and found that affordable home delivery is at near standstill, there is an acute construction skills crisis and a flawed process of identifying public land for homes.
Jay Das, head of planning at Wedlake Bell LLP, said: "Use of public land such as TfL land will assist the Mayor in reaching his target, but market drivers, viability and general economic conditions, all outside the Mayor's control, will determine his level of success."
The news comes after Khan unveiled the "Hopper" bus fare last week, as well as announcing more armed police in London and committing to tackling air quality in the capital.
In fact, Khan said over the weekend that he had achieved more in a week than his entire time in opposition, encouraging his party to get back into the "habit of winning".