The lack of affordable housing in London has long been a hotly debated issue which has courted immense coverage and debate, yet realistic solutions from politicians and mayoral hopefuls alike to tackle the issue have been rare indeed. It’s apparent that the government’s abject failure in ensuring that the number of homes built in London increase year on year to meet the growing population of the capital has been well documented. Instead we have become accustomed to being bystanders to the customary empty rhetoric and assurances from our ‘so called’ elected representatives who have been entrusted to safe guard and promote the interests of those who have put them in public office in the first place.
The eventual conclusion of this housing conundrum has left many ordinary Londoners far removed from the prospect of ownership, and instead reliant on the perpetual cycle of the private and social rental markets, often falling prey to rogue landlords and poor/substandard housing conditions, usually as a result of disrepair.
It’s therefore startling to think that with dwindling council house and social housing stock and the extension of the right to buy scheme to Housing Association tenants under the new Tory Government, that an ex council 2 bed 700sq flat in a 1950’s block in Fulham has now been put on the private sale market for £1.15 million with the neighbouring property having sold for £1million. It is expected that this will set a precedent in many desirable areas of London, with ex council properties in Kensington and Bloomsbury having coming on to the rental market for up to £30,000 a year.
Without an effective and concerted effort being undertaken by the both central and local government to tackle this growing problem, this crisis is surely to intensify and worsen, leaving many unfortunate Londoners being subjected to substandard housing stock.