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82 per cent of Londoners say there’s a housing crisis – how do we solve it?

Released on 31 January 2014

As polling, published today on London Councils’ website, shows that housing is the number one issue for Londoners, key figures will debate how London can build the 800,000 homes it needs by 2021 at an event in Westminster next week.

82 per cent of Londoners agree with the statement that there is a housing crisis – with 64 per cent strongly agreeing. The poll also reveals that:

  • 27 per cent mention the affordability of housing as the most important issue facing London, above transport/public transport (23 per cent), crime (14 per cent) and immigration (10 per cent)
  • asked to give the main reasons for the crisis (without prompting), 47 per cent give mentions relating to affordability/house prices, 39 per cent over-population/immigration, 37 per cent the lack of building or supply/investment
  • most Londoners say they support London local government having more financial powers. For example, 42 per cent strongly agree with the statement “London’s local government should be given greater freedom in the way it uses money raised from London taxpayers”. In addition, there is confidence that more freedom on spending for housing, schools and transport will “mean more growth and jobs for London" – 73 per cent agree this would happen while 13 per cent disagree.

The figures show Londoners back calls from London Councils to devolve more powers from the Treasury to London – for instance, lifting artificial rules preventing councils sensibly investing in new housing. London retains only seven per cent of the tax it generates, compared to 50 per cent in New York.

Businesses have warned that the lack of affordable housing will also impact on growth and London’s future status as a global city. As well as easing the housing crisis, building homes creates jobs and growth: every £1 invested generates £2.84 (3).

Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing, said: “This polling shows that affordable housing is everybody’s problem – the housing crisis is bad for individuals, bad for families and bad for businesses. London’s future is on the line.”

“Housing impacts on education, social care and business growth and Londoners want leadership.”

“I look forward to discussing this in more detail at our event next week with Alan Johnson, Bob Neill and Tony Pidgley.”


Notes to editors

1.            The speakers at the event are:

  • the Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, former Home Secretary and Shadow Chancellor
  • Bob Neill MP
  • Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils' Executive Member for Housing
  • Tony Pidgley CBE, Chairman, The Berkeley Group
  • Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The Independent (chair).

The event is open to all and takes place on Wednesday 5 February from 6.30pm. Potential attendees can sign-up here: http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/events/event.htm?pk=1169

2.            Ipsos MORI polled a total of 1,000 adults aged 18+ across London’s boroughs by telephone between 18 and 29 October 2013 on behalf of London Councils. Data has been weighted to the known London population profile. The full breakdown is available here: http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Polls/13-077264-01_London_Councils_weighted_tabs_social_care_Final_PUBLIC.pdf

3.            CBI, October 2012 http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/news-articles/2012/10/housing-crisis-shock-tactics/