London is a ’mare for renters. London needs a Mayor for renters.
London’s housing crisis will be the number one issue for the mayoral candidates in the 2016 election. We’re not going to let them waste this opportunity. On this site you can see what the candidates are promising so far, where they’re falling short, and how you can put pressure on them to improve their plans for homes in London.
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!
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.
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:
London needs to house a wide variety of people to maintain its unique economy, society and culture.
Private renters in London – particularly vulnerable households – have too little security in their homes, often live in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, and struggle to afford rent, let alone to save a deposit for home ownership.
Residential property should be treated as someone’s home rather than a commodity to be bought and sold. As such, we want to see an increase in the number of permanently affordable homes.
To improve the private rented sector the bad operators have to be driven out.
Further information about Generation Rent’s proposals to the next Mayor of London is available here.
London has a new Mayor. Sadiq Khan was elected last Thursday with 1.3m votes, the largest personal mandate for any British politician in history. That gives him a lot of clout in implementing his manifesto, whether that's dealing with local councils or the Westminster government...
After months of debate and campaigning, the London Mayoral election is imminent. Despite housing being the absolute number one issue of the election, the two frontrunners have not managed to face each other to debate it...
The final manifesto we're looking at for Vote Homes is UKIP's Peter Whittle's. Like all the other candidates, Peter recognises that housing is the biggest challenge facing London. But unlike the other candidates, he sees the cause as excess demand, rather than a shortage of supply...
Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, has published her manifesto. We’ve taken a look at what she’d do to fix the housing crisis and how she compares with other candidates so far....
With the launch of this website, we have made our initial verdict on the candidates’ policies so far. Some of them haven’t announced any yet, while there are a lot of candidates who have given fairly broad aspirations.
Some policies probably warrant a bit more of an explanation...
UK, EU and Commonwealth citizens living in London are eligible to vote in the Mayoral election.
If you are registered you will receive a polling card which tells you where to cast your vote. Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm. You will get three ballot papers: the pink is for Mayor and you have a first and second choice. The yellow is for your local Assembly member and you get one choice, and the orange is for the Londonwide Assembly member and you have one choice.