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  • Writer's pictureThe Youth Vote UK

Affordability: A Comparison of Mayor of London Candidate Manifestos

The London mayoral elections are coming up on the 6th of May 2021. We here at The Youth Vote have been producing content around each of the candidate’s manifestos. We now thought it would be a good idea to compile similar policy areas into one post to make it easier for you to compare the pledges of each candidate. This post will look at affordability, which primarily focuses on housing.

Brian Rose (Independent) “Transform London 2021”: Housing First

  • Aim to eliminate homelessness through more affordable accommodation – which will in turn boost the economy.

  • Deliver 50,000 new properties ready to move into by the end of 2021.

  • Ensure no properties left empty and unused.

  • Ensure that all key workers have access to accommodation.

  • Ensure we increase the proportion of social and affordable housing across the capital.

Brian Rose’s self-proclaimed “aggressive” stance on fixing the housing crisis involves aiming to tackle homelessness through ensuring more affordable housing and building more property, as well as ensuring all key workers have a home. With ever-rising house prices in the capital, the housing crisis is a priority issue for many Londoners, and especially for young voters.

Farah London (Independent) ‘Bring London Back’: The London Affordable to its People

  • Build affordable housing

  • Simplify planning rules

  • Increase development of private and public sector projects, including on brownfield sites

  • Commit to council tax and seek an exemption for tenants aged under 25

  • Council Tax is a type of property tax which taxes the residents a certain percentage depending on the value of their property with more expensive properties paying more tax.

  • The council uses it to pay for local services such as schools, rubbish collection, roads and streetlights.

Farah London has committed to building more affordable homes in an attempt to tackle the housing crisis in London. This housing crisis is a major issue for young people who struggle to get onto the property ladder so this policy may help with that.

Her council tax policy should also be of interest to young people as she has directly targeted her policy at them. While there is already a council tax exemption for students, she wants to extend this to all under 25s in order to alleviate the financial strains that Covid-19 has caused.

Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrat) ‘Luisa Porritt for London’: Housing

  • Homes In The Heart Of The City”

  • Turn un-used office space in the heart of London into affordable housing.

  • Use “special powers” from the government to “breathe new life” into the city centre and create affordable housing.

Homes in the Heart of the City is Porritt’s flagship policy, and if elected Mayor she aims to take advantage of the shift towards flexible working since the beginning of the pandemic to tackle London’s housing crisis. As a millennial herself, Porritt claims she understands the housing crisis well and understands the need to make housing more affordable for young people in a city where costs are rising exponentially.

Porritt has also said the “dynamics” of the city are changing due to coronavirus, and this plan is a chance to build on that change. For many young people in London, renting and getting on the property ladder can be challenging, so this could be an attractive policy to young voters.

Porritt is also supporting the Liberal Democrats’ movement to “end the cladding scandal” and resolve issues to do with fire safety in housing brought up by the Grenfell tragedy of 2017, and it is likely if elected she will aim to work with the government on this as Mayor.

Nims Obunge (Independent) ‘Nims for LDN’: Make London Affordable

  • Create innovative partnerships to fund housing for front line key workers in the communities they serve at scale

  • Establish Mayoral Guardianships for the Homeless

  • Implement Tourist Tax

  • Reconnect Communities, creating The London Village

Housing opportunities are also a key policy area for Nims. He believes that the affordability of housing is one of London's major issues. His solution to the problem is through the use of innovative partnerships which fund the construction of new homes. His housing policies also reflect his community focus. He aims to reconnect communities in London in order to give a sense of belonging.

Dr. Peter Gammon (UKIP) ‘Peter’s 6 Key Policies for A Better, Safer, London for All’: An Affordable London

  • Council Tax Freeze

  • 100,000 New One-Bed Shared-Ownership Starter Homes

  • Prioritising Londoners & Their Children

  • London Lottery

  • Fairer Property Taxes

With young people finding it harder and harder to buy their first home Dr Peter Gammons wants to build affordable housing to help London singles and young couples get on the property ladder. He is Investigating over 100 abandoned and derelict sites for potential construction sites for these affordable homes.

He wants to Freeze council tax in the effort of relieving stress on Londoners after the tough year that has passed. He aims to fund it through ‘cutting the ridiculous waste under Khan’ and, secondly, the ‘London Lottery’.

He also wants to review Council Tax to make it fairer - ‘Some billionaires living in multi-million-pound houses are paying the same as poor families.’

Rosalind Readhead (Independent) ‘A Manifesto for a Climate and Ecological Emergency’: Housing

  • Retrofit current homes to meet carbon efficient home targets

  • Geothermal Green Streets

  • Solar panels on all viable roofs

  • Community micro-grids

  • Ban second home ownership

  • Cap rents

A redesigning of London is not just limited to London’s streets but also to people’s homes and how we power and heat them. Rosalind wishes to promote the installation of insulation, low carbon power and heating across London in both new and existing homes. The new space saved from removing cars from many of London’s streets would provide space for the installation of ground-source heat pumps which can provide an entire street's heating needs. Rosalind also recognises the social and economic housing needs of Londoners, promoting caps on rents and increasing the number of affordable homes through the efficient use of the current housing stock.

Sadiq Khan (Labour) ‘Standing Up for London’: Building New Council and Social Rent Homes

  • Building more social and genuinely affordable homes than ever before

  • Record number 17,000+ affordable homes started on London sites in 2019/20

  • More council homes started than any year for more than three decades

  • Introduced Rogue Landlord Checker

  • This database will list private landlords and letting agents who have been fined or convicted of a housing offence

  • Doubled City halls outreach teams to tackle homelessness

  • Somewhere Safe to Stay hub

  • Rapid Response Team

  • Winter Programme to provide shelter during coldest months

  • Wants to expand the No Second Night Out service, to help people who are new to the streets

  • Expand Clearing House and tenancy Sustainment Teams, to provide a longer-term accommodation solution

  • The right to vote on estate regeneration

  • requires residents to vote in favour of plans that involve the demolition of social homes. The first time such a condition has been introduced anywhere in the country.

  • Backing rent control

  • Proposes a London Private Rent Commission, with renters on its board, to implement and enforce measures to reduce rents and keep them at lower levels

The cost of living for young Londoners is a major concern. Sadiq Khan’s policies aim to address this by building more affordable housing and council homes. The housing shortage in London has played a significant role. In the last two decades, the Job Market in London has grown by 45%, the population by 27%, however, only 18% new homes have been built. This emphasises the housing shortage in London. Building more homes, especially affordable ones is Sadiq Khan’s solution to this problem, and it will give young people a better chance of owning a home.

Sadiq Khan also aims to continue to tackle homelessness in the city. This is also a problem for young people with 8% reported to be sleeping rough in London in 2019/20 where amongst 18-25. Sadiq’s primary policy to tackle homelessness is through funding of outreach teams. We will have to wait and see if they are effective at reducing homelessness in the Capital.

Making Commuting More Affordable

  • Frozen TfL fares

  • Pause on ticket costs

  • Frozen for four years

  • Introduced the unlimited Hopper bus fare

  • The Hopper fare gives unlimited journeys for £1.50, made within one hour of touching in

  • Opened the Night Tube

  • Runs on Fridays and Saturdays on the Victoria, Jubilee, and most of the Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines

  • Was originally promised by Sadiq Khan’s predecessor, and now Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

Sadiq Khan has tried to combat the issue of the high living cost in London by making public transport more affordable. His other aim is to encourage people to use public transport to tackle climate change and air pollution.

57% of Londoners 16–24 say the biggest barrier to public transport is cost. Freezing TfL fares and the introduction of the unlimited Hopper bus fare aims to tackle this.

Shaun Bailey (Conservative) ‘Shaun’s Plan for London’: Make London Build

  • End ban on Strategic Industrial Land (SIL) to release land and build houses

  • There is a current ban on using SIL for housebuilding. Shaun Bailey wishes to end this ban

  • SIL exists to ensure London provides a sufficient number of quality sites, in appropriate locations, to meet the needs of industrial and related sectors, such as logistics, waste management and environmental industries, utilities, wholesale markets, and so on

  • Work with developers to build affordable housing – 100,000 Shared Ownership Homes

Shaun Bailey states he will build 100,000 shared ownership “Millennial Homes” that can only be bought by first-time buyers and young Londoners (under 40), where up to 10 people can buy a share in the newly built homes. With a deposit of £5,000, they can buy one share in the property. Shared owners would then be able to increase their shares in their homes in increments as low as 1%.

Make London Affordable

  • Priority is to cut costs of living and make London affordable for everyone

  • Emphasises reversing the congestion charge increases

It is worth explaining Shaun Bailey grew up on a council estate in Ladbroke Grove and came from a poor family of immigrants. Having grown up around poverty and crime, he states he understands how difficult life can be for young people in London. For these reasons he became a Youth Worker. Although his policies on reducing the cost of living are not specific, other than those outlined in housing and transport, his upbringing may make him empathic to the youth vote in the election.

The Policy and News Analysis Team

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