Londoners have been urged to help support the building of thousands of new affordable homes by agreeing to fund their construction via a levy on council tax.
Liberal Democrat mayoral hopeful Caroline Pidgeon has said that, if elected to succeed Boris Johnson in May, she would use the £20 each household currently pays per year towards the cost of hosting the 2012 Olympics to fund 50,000 low rent homes over the next four years.
The Olympic element of the Mayor’s share of council tax is due to end next year but Ms Pidgeon says retaining the levy would provide the “long term revenue” for City Hall to step in and build the homes needed to tackle London’s growing housing crisis.
Calculations provided by the Liberal Democrat campaign suggests £2 billion could be raised via council tax to fund the new homes.
In addition to the 50,000 new low rent homes, Pidgeon says her plans would also support a further 150,000 properties for sale and rent and deliver 100,000 new jobs in the building industry.
Ms Pidgeon said: “For decades London has failed to build enough new homes, driving up rents and putting property prices well beyond the reach of most ordinary Londoners.
“You’ve got to boost supply, and I’m not going to rely on the private sector to do that because they just haven’t delivered. They will find any excuse not to build genuinely affordable homes.”
“I unashamedly say that just as people rose to the challenge and helped to fund the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is now time a similar commitment was shown to building new affordable homes.
“This Government is trying to get rid of council housing – I want to bring it back so Londoners can afford to stay in the capital.”