Thinking about Little Mountain, for instance, where there is essentially zero affordable housing added net, this kind of boldness on behalf of the city – especially in avoiding the same sort of watered down affordability description that Vancouver uses as a metric – might actually start addressing people’s ability to live in London, and could do so for Vancouver also!
At the start of his second week in office, the Labour mayor told the Guardian he wanted more than 50% of homes on some new housing developments to be affordable. He said that did not mean 80% of market rent, as affordable is defined by the government, but far lower social rents or “London living rent”, which is pitched at a third of average incomes.
Khan also announced he was considering making it a condition of planning permission that new homes were marketed locally for at least six months before they could go on sale to foreign investors.
“There is no point in building homes if they are bought by investors in the Middle East and Asia,” he said. “I don’t want homes being left empty. I don’t want us to be the world’s capital for money laundering. I want to give first dibs to Londoners.”
In 2013, 15% of new homes in London were sold to foreign buyers, according to research by the British Property Federation and Molior, a consultancy.
City hall officials have calculated that last year the lowest number of affordable homes was built in London since records began in 1991 – just 4,880. Khan said he wanted to build 50,000 of all types of housing a year.