Mayor told to review policies to tackle overcrowding
The London Assembly has approved a Conservative motion today calling on Sadiq Khan to review all of his planning and housing policies to tackle overcrowding and ensure suitable provision is made for family-sized homes.
Andrew Boff AM, who proposed the motion, commented: "The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the plight of those families in overcrowded homes in London. Tragically, there is a clear link emerging between crowded housing conditions and coronavirus related deaths.
“I am pleased my colleagues on the London Assembly have backed my call for the Mayor to review his planning and housing policies to tackle overcrowding. For too long, overcrowding has not been a priority at City Hall and we are now seeing the disastrous consequences.
“Sadiq Khan needs to take overcrowding seriously. As Mayor, he has prioritised smaller homes over affordable family-sized homes despite 360,000 children in London being trapped in overcrowded homes. I hope today’s motion from the London Assembly will finally push the Mayor to act.”
The full text of the amended motion is:
This Assembly notes with concern that overcrowding remains a significant problem in London. COVID-19 has brought this issue into sharp focus, with recent analysis showing a clear link between overcrowded homes and COVID mortality.
This Assembly calls on the Mayor to review all planning and housing policies to tackle overcrowding including:
Giving proper weight and consideration to the dwelling size mix set out in Table A1 of the amended 2017 Strategic Housing Market Assessment when assessing and determining referable planning applications to ensure there is sufficient provision of family sized homes;
Commissioning a specific London Housing Survey, to collect more comprehensive data on the conditions of London's households than is currently available through the English Housing Survey, which will give a more solid evidence base for future housing and planning policies;
Ensuring each borough has an up-to-date housing needs assessment which takes local overcrowding levels into account.
This Assembly welcomes the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, Tom Copley’s recent commitment to publishing full size breakdowns for all GLA-funded housing starts and completions, and ensuring that historical data remains on the GLA website rather than just the latest quarter.
This Assembly notes that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP, in his letter to the Mayor on 13 March 2020, stated that he was concerned about the new London Plan's provision for family sized dwellings and directed the Mayor to amend to plan to refer to the need for additional family housing. This Assembly welcomes this amendment, but also calls on Chair of the Assembly to write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP, on behalf of the London Assembly to urge the Government to take into account the higher cost of building family sized affordable homes in London when determining London's share of the next Affordable Homes Programme.