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Scores on the Doors #HomeGoals for the Mayor of London

Naomi Smith, Executive Director Campaigns, London First

Naomi Smith

Yesterday’s immigration figures brought with them the usual chatter about the rights and wrongs of the government’s target to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands. But rewind 20 years, and in the run to the 1997 General Election, just a tiny proportion of voters cited immigration as a top concern. Since (and arguably before) then, successive governments have simply failed to build enough homes which has, in no small part, helped to fuel concerns about population growth and immigration. Had the government facilitated the level of home building seen in the post war period, it’s hard to imagine that the anxiety about immigration would be viewed as one the greatest issues facing Britain today, as we’re currently seeing.

For a thriving city like London, which draws on talent from across the world, such widespread anxiety and the long term failure to properly plan for population change presents a major threat.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has made clear his commitment to boosting the supply of homes for Londoners, as well as to keeping London open for business. We want to track that progress, and get London building fifty thousand new homes every year, to ensure that London really is open for all the workers our businesses need, and not just those wealthy enough to afford property here.

Businesses stepping up

While it isn’t the job of business to fix the housing crisis, it has very much become a business problem, as firms across the capital struggle to recruit and retain the staff they need because of the exorbitant cost of living. The Fifty Thousand Homes campaign is a group of businesses, supported by Shelter, concerned about the impact of the housing crisis on London’s economic growth.

And when business faces a problem, it relies on accurate information to analyse the bottlenecks and increase production. And that’s why the Fifty Thousand Homes campaign has created a brand-new data set, using Ordnance Survey research, analysed by Grant Thornton, to keep an eye on the London housing pipeline.

Our ‘Scores on the Doors’ will track the number of applications, permissions and completions in London, and measure how many homes get lost along the way. The data will be updated twice a year, and will help everyone from planners, to the GLA and developers, to better understand where interventions are required to speed up delivery and unpick the housebuilding hold up.

Launched today, our first cut of the data shows:

• One in three new homes in London are lost after permission is granted
• It takes just over three years for a home to go from permission to completion
• On average, it takes 13 months for construction to begin after permission is granted
• Developments of 100-149 homes are more likely to get built than other sites
• In 2015 and 2016, even Zone 1 managed to build more new homes than Zone 6

The data shows just what an uphill start the Mayor has inherited, and therefore just how vital it is that we closely monitor progress towards achieving the goal of fifty thousand homes for London.

For details contact: Naomi Smith, Executive Director Campaigns,



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