The Policies

For each of the main candidates, we have summarised their housing policies so far, and given our verdict on whether they’ll help Londoners. A blank circle means they haven’t announced anything yet; red means that it will do nothing to change the status quo (or make things worse); amber means they’re on the right track but need to go further or give more detail, and green is a policy we have called for, or otherwise think is excellent.

You will find commentary on each candidate's policies in the blog below. In the final days of the election campaign, candidates are more than welcome to get in touch with new and better commitments, but otherwise this comparison is based on what they've put in their manifesto, and other comments they have made in public or in correspondence with Generation Rent.

On some of the policy areas below you can email the candidates to ask them to support a policy we are calling for. There is still time to make your feelings known!

Legend:

Sian Berry
George Galloway
Zac Goldsmith
Sadiq Khan
Caroline Pidgeon
Peter Whittle
Social housing supply
Half of new homes to be affordable and affordability defined by income
Require 50% of new homes to cost less than 50% average rent; Seize empty homes that had been left vacant for a year without a "proper excuse"
No target, but transparency for private developers' viability assessments and requirement for councils to build "intermediate" housing
“50% affordable housing target for new developments”
“Build 50,000 new council homes”; A guideline for half of new homes to be affordable
Build "genuinely affordable homes", albeit with restrictions for people with a local connection
Our proposed policy:

Redefine affordability as 30% of income for poorest quarter of population.

Building homes for private renters & first time buyers
10,000 homes a year for low-cost rent and purchase; support for community land trusts
No commitments in this area
“Homes built on mayoral land to be offered exclusively to first time buyers who have been resident in London for at least 3 years, for the first year”; encouraging councils to build range of discounted homes for rent; at least 1000 community land trust homes
“First dibs” on homes to buy; homes to "part-buy, part-rent"; at least 1000 community land trust homes
Renters' right to buy if landlord decides to sell; Homes built to rent using public funds or on public land to offer longer tenancies; promote community land trusts
Would build genuinely affordable homes for sale or rent
Our proposed policy:

Give preference to developments that offer secure, rent-controlled tenancies.

Housebuilding: funding
“Unlock” house building with council tax precept to raise £900m
Land tax targeting empty properties
"Londonwide Housing Fund to help boroughs pool funding"
"Attract institutional investors, pension and other investment funds to finance homes for long-term, secure rent"
Pay for building programme with £20 council tax precept raising £2bn, a London Housing Bond, "development gain" and "tax incremental financing"
Double council tax on empty properties
Our proposed policy:

Use money-raising powers to fund genuinely affordable homes.

Housebuilding: where
Make public land available to community-led housing projects; compulsory purchase land to build on
The green belt has to be built on
Public land used for development will include a "London Share"
City Hall and councils to develop public land; using it "creatively to generate future income"
At least 50% of homes built on public land to be permanently affordable
Prioritise GLA-owned land for genuinely affordable homes
Our proposed policy:

At least 50% of homes built on public land to be permanently affordable.

Security of tenure
Lobby government for powers to "require more stable tenancy agreements"
Berlin-style secure tenancies
Will seek to make London Rental Standard mandatory and require its members to offer longer tenancies
“Fight for a greater say in strengthening renters' rights”
"Encourage landlords to offer longer minimum tenancies
No mention of security of tenure
Our proposed policy:

Call for reform of section 21 and limits to rent increases

Rent levels
Lobby government for powers to bring in rent controls
Berlin-style rent controls
"Rent controls could only happen if the government agreed to it, and they won’t."
London living rent in new developments “linked to third of average incomes”
No commitment to set rent levels
Explicitly rejects rent controls
Our proposed policy:

Call for powers for the Mayor to set private rent levels.

Landlord Regulation
Support development of landlord register and blacklist of "rogue" landlords
No commitments in this area
Mandatory London Rental Standard; City Hall team "to give tenants a representative to fight on their behalf"
"Make the case to government for Londonwide landlord licensing"; give tenants online access to information about "rogue" landlords
Promote effective registration of landlords, including a Londonwide licensing scheme, and establish central unit to prosecute criminals
Explicitly rejects landlord registration
Our proposed policy:

London-wide licensing scheme.

Letting agents
Support local renter groups to conduct secret shopping; call for a ban on fees to tenants.
No commitment on this area
"Ensure all fees are charged upfront and, for specific services like credit checks, are cost reflective"
London-wide letting agent
Establish a City Hall-run letting agent; "I would ban letting agents charging tenants excessive and unnecessary fees"
No commitments in this area
Our proposed policy:

Create a not-for-profit letting agent with no tenant fees.

Tenant representation
Support the creation of a London Renters Union
Vows to build a national, cross-party alliance to tackle the housing crisis
"more than willing to engage with advocacy groups including those supporting tenants’ rights"
"I'll work with [among others] tenants to improve the private rented sector"
Establish a Tenants Commission to carry out research into the city's private rental market
No commitments in this area
Our proposed policy:

Establish a tenants commission and conduct regular meetings with it.

About

Vote Homes 2016 is a Generation Rent project, with support from Renters Rights London and PricedOut. It is a neutral organisation which aims to offer an unbiased guide to Londoners in the run-up to the 2016 London mayoral election.

Our scoring of the candidates’ policies are based on a number of principles:

Further information about Generation Rent’s proposals to the next Mayor of London is available here.

The project is kindly funded by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.

Blog

Events

As the election approaches, hustings will take place – as well as other events to raise the profile of housing. We will list them here. Get in touch if you would like us to include your event.

National March for Homes and Against the Housing Bill
View details
Vote Homes 2016 Hustings
View details
Hive Dalston Respacing Conference and Husting
View details
Centre For London & Evening Standard Mayoral Hustings
View details

Centre For London and Evening Standard Mayoral Hustings

Date: 21 April, 6:30 to 8

Address: Guildhall, Gresham Street, EC2V 7HH

For more information visit CFL’s website

Mayoral Accountability Assembly, Copper Box, Stratford
View details

Mayoral Accountability Assembly

Date: 28 April

Organised by London Citizens. To find out more, contact your local Citizens chapter

Polling Day
View details

Polling Day

Date: 5 May

Ensure you are registered to vote