Thursday 20 April 2016
Focus on what really matters and fix the housing crisis
says London Chamber
With just two weeks to go until the new Mayor of London is elected, the London Chamber of Commerce is renewing its calls for the candidates to listen to what really matters to London businesses.
The capital's most representative business organisation has published a 20-step agenda; Towards a Greater London which includes key recommendations for the next mayor's housing manifesto.
The agenda from London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) identifies new ways in which it believes the new mayor can tackle London's housing crisis.
- Targeting smaller sites identified by the London Land Commission, cut planning red-tape and establish a Small Developers Panel
- Reviewing the status of poor quality land within the greenbelt, work with local authorities to reclassify derelict commercial space for mixed residential use and support increased housing density around local transport hubs
- Work with local authorities to ensure sufficient numbers of homes to rent are included within new developments
- Become 'Owner-Landlord' of housing stock for 'blue light' essential workers such as Police, Firefighters and Paramedics
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive, Colin Stanbridge, said: "With just two weeks to go until the election of a new Mayor on May 5 now really is the time to be focussing on what really matters.
"And one of those things that matters above all else to London is housing. Ensuring that every London worker has an affordable, well-connected place to live is key to solving the capital's productivity puzzle.
"The chronic undersupply of housing is giving rise to a host of problems for London businesses and the shortage of affordable homes within easy reach of workplaces, coupled with London's overstretched transport system, is leading to an underproductive workforce. As housing costs rise, more and more workers are choosing to live further away from the centre of London, risking a loss of skills which are critical to the city's competiveness.
"Already candidates have taken on board some of our recommendations including establishing a Small Developers Panel and the Chamber wants to encourage more of the same.
"The four-year period of the new mayoralty must see important decisions taken around housing, transport and infrastructure to prepare for the London of tomorrow.
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
1. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
2. Colin Stanbridge of LCCI is available for further comment and interview.
3. The Small Developers Panel intended to target small sites for housing is referenced in Zac Goldsmith's Housing Manifesto
4. LCCI's 2014 report, Getting our House in Order, found that small builders were uniquely positioned to develop small plots of land. The Mayor should support them by cutting red tape and by providing relief for upfront costs which are likely to stall businesses without substantial financial resources.
5. LCCI's 2015 report, Unlocking London's Housing Potential, highlighted that the key to tackling the housing crisis is getting the most out of London's finite land
6. The Towards a Greater London Manifesto can be found here: