Tuesday 8 October 2019 11:16 am

Sadiq Khan: Here's my plan to build housing Londoners can actually afford

I know the difference that having a council home can make because it’s a big part of the story of my life.

My parents were fortunate enough to be able to raise me and my siblings in a fantastic family-sized council home, building up close relationships in the community over the years.

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I am proud that we started building more council homes last year than in any year since 1985, and more social rented homes than in any year since City Hall took on its housing powers.

I’m determined to get London building homes that Londoners can actually afford, rather than luxury apartments that too often remain empty.

As well as building the right sort of homes, we need to make sure Londoners are at the heart of everything we do.

We’ve introduced rules that tenants must be balloted if there are plans to regenerate their estates.

Far too often, residents and community groups have been ignored.I want to change that across the board, which is why I’m putting community and voluntary groups at the heart of my inaugural Homes for Londoners conference today.

This isn’t going to be just another talking shop.

Councils, housing associations, and the wider sector will sit alongside community representatives on every panel. The needs of Londoners, and the focus on delivering council and other genuinely affordable homes, will be at the heart of all the discussions.

The housing industry must earn Londoners’ trust, and that will only come through talking to them about what they need from homebuilding – and actually listening.

Ultimately, if we are to fix this housing crisis for good, we need the Government to play its part too.

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We have achieved a huge amount since I became mayor of London, but ministers must urgently give us more powers and funding to build the genuinely affordable homes Londoners desperately need.

I’ll continue to lobby the government, but it’s vital that developers and homebuilders don’t lose sight of their social responsibilities, and redouble their efforts to make council, social rented and genuinely affordable housing their priority – with the needs of real Londoners at the forefront of their plans every step of the way.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.