Sadiq Khan, Labour’s candidate for mayor of London, today launched a new campaign poster claiming that only he will deliver new homes which Londoners “can afford.”
Both Mr Khan and Tory rival Zac Goldsmith have pledged to use City Hall and Transport for London land to deliver thousands of new homes each year.
In addition Khan has pledged to reinstate a rule requiring that 50% of all new homes built in the coming mayoral term are “affordable.”
The rule, first introduced by former mayor Ken Livingstone, was scrapped by Boris Johnson who claimed it was seldom met and deterred developers from building the homes Londoners need.
A number of Labour councils have adopted local versions of the rules but data published by City Hall last year shows that none met their target over the three year period ending 2013/14.
However Mr Khan insists he would be able to meet his target and use it to deliver “a mix of homes” suitable for Londoners on all income levels.
The Labour candidate has also criticised his rival’s support for the Government’s ‘starter homes’ scheme which Khan claims will lead to the building of homes which “simply won’t be affordable to Londoners on average incomes”.
The scheme provides buyers with a 20% discount on qualifying properties and is open to those buying homes worth up to £450,000 but Mr Goldsmith says the cost of the average property will be “significantly lower,” citing as evidence a scheme in Ealing where flats sold for £165,000.
Launching his poster, Mr Khan said: “Londoners face a clear choice: homes you can afford under me or homes you can’t afford under Zac Goldsmith.
“The housing crisis has gone from bad to worse under the Tories and Zac Goldsmith’s ‘starter homes’ simply won’t be affordable to Londoners on average incomes.”
A spokesperson for Zac Goldsmith said: “The only way to lower prices is to build more homes – and the only way that is possible is with a mayor who can work with the Government to unlock the land we need while keeping London’s economy strong.
“The choice on May 5th is between Zac’s Action Plan for Greater London which will deliver 50k houses and Khan’s fantasy targets that would cut housebuilding.”
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.