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01/10/2013

London needs more than 800,000 homes to meet demand

Terraced houses
London's status as a global city is in severe danger as the capital struggles with the worst housing shortages since the Second World War, according to the city's boroughs.
 
London Councils, which represents 33 boroughs, analysed Department for Communities and Local Government and Greater London Authority housing statistics and found that 809,000 homes will be needed to meet projected housing demand in 2021.
 
A total of 526,000 new homes will need to be built by 2021 just to keep up with new demand as the capital's population is expected to increase by more than one million to nine million. But only 250,000 homes will be built on current projections.
 
A further 283,000 homes will also need to be built to meet the housing backlog.
 
London Councils said current housing supply levels suggest there will be a deficit of 559,000 homes by 2021. Even when excluding factors such as overcrowding, this amounts to 329,000 fewer homes than the city will require.
 
Executive member for housing Sir Steve Bullock said: "The last time we faced such an acute housing supply crisis was after the Second World War. This is a long time coming and the capital's future prosperity is on the line.
 
"If the housing crisis is not solved, costs for the London economy will continue to spiral. More working families will struggle to rent and to buy,  and more people could be forced out of the capital."
 
The group is calling on the government to lift the housing borrowing cap which prevents councils from investing in housing. It also demands more investment in the rental sector, support for smaller-scale builders on contstruction contracts and sustainable development near London's tube and rail network.
 
A total of 134,000 homes could be built if these measures were introduced. 
 

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