Housing policies put forward by Labour’s Sadiq Khan risk “suppressing the number of new homes built” according to a new report published today.
The report, from the right-wing Centre for Policy Studies think tank, claims Mr Khan’s pledge to introduce a 50 per cent affordable housing target would be “particularly damaging” to the supply of new homes.
It also claims Mr Khan’s target could see developments filled with “high-cost homes at the expense of more modest ones” as developers seek to recoup the profits lost on the affordable units.
The report cites a project in Camden where the affordable homes were financed by the building of “two bedroom flats costing an average of around £800,000” and claims “a rollout of sites such as this could deprive the private market of more reasonably priced homes.”
It also suggests Mr Khan’s pledge to campaign for the introduction of a rent cap could see landlords sell-off their properties, potentially reducing the number of rental homes on the market, and says the policy “represents a treatment of the symptom rather than the causes of the housing shortage.”
Transport bosses are currently planning a number of major transport projects, including the proposed Crossrail 2 rail link which is expected to support the building of thousands of new homes.
However the report claims Mr Khan’s pledge to freeze fares for the full four year mayoral term, “could slow the pace of housing delivery across London over the coming years” by hampering the delivery of such schemes.
Internal Transport for London figures put the cost of the policy at around £1.9bn, a figure disputed by Mr Khan and his campaign.
Although most of the report’s criticisms are aimed at Mr Khan, it does condemn both him and Tory rival Zac Goldsmith for ruling out the use of London’s Green Belt to build new homes.
Both have instead promised to use existing brownfield land, including land owned by TfL, City Hall and other parts of the public sector, to deliver the homes London needs.
Commenting on the report, Mr Goldsmith said: “It’s essential that everyone in the next generation has somewhere to live in our City.
“London needs a mayor who will keep the economy strong so we can invest in vital infrastructure, not Khan’s fantasy targets that would make the problem worse.”
A spokesperson for Sadiq Khan said: “London’s housing crisis is getting worse – with more and more Londoners being priced out of their own city.
“After eight years of Tory rule in City Hall, the answer to the housing crisis can’t be more of the same policies that got us into this situation in the first place.”
Londoners will elect a new Mayor and the 25 members of the London Assembly on May 5th. Candidates for Mayor include Conservative Zac Goldsmith, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon, the Green party’s Sian Berry and UKIP’s Peter Whittle.