Report Explains How to Overcome London’s Housing Crisis
By |Published On: 8th February 2016|

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Report Explains How to Overcome London’s Housing Crisis

By |Published On: 8th February 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

A new report, commissioned for the Mayor of London, has detailed plans of how to overcome the capital’s housing crisis.

The Growing London report states that by 2030, 1.5m more people – around the number that currently live in Birmingham – will be living in London, among the 8.5m residents the capital already has.

Growing London is the first in a series of reports, the Good Growth Agenda, written by the Mayor of London’s Design Advisory Group. It is examining what the capital will look like as it changes to accommodate a population of over 10m.

London has already surpassed a previous record of 8.61m residents back in 1939. However, in the 1930s, more than 500,000 homes were built on greenfield land. Now, the plan is to increase housing within London’s footprint.

Report Explains How to Overcome London's Housing Crisis

Report Explains How to Overcome London’s Housing Crisis

The report found that around 50,000 new homes must be built every year over a 20-year period in order to house almost 70,000 people in London, and the equivalent of more than eight Canary Wharfs to provide jobs.

One of Growing London’s key findings was the need to reconsider London’s overall density. This could lead to more tower blocks. It says that Londoners live at a density of 73 people per hectare, whereas 200 years ago, there were 297 – more than four times as many people in one hectare today. If London had the same density as it did in 1815, its footprint could accommodate around 35m people.

Density levels vary across the capital, with a high of 271 people per hectare. In comparison to other major cities, this is spacious; in New York City there are 585 people per hectare, and a huge 1,111 in Hong Kong.

Another method of measuring density is to count the number of units or dwellings per hectare. A tower block accommodates an average of 450 units per hectare.

The report found that while guidance suggests there should be a limit of 405 units per hectare, some developments in London have been planned for over 3,000 units per hectare. Growing London believes that more research should be conducted into high-density building.

At present, 263 buildings that are 20 storeys tall are in the pipeline for the capital.

Another of the report’s important findings was that local authorities have almost stopped building new homes, despite owning 40% of land that could be used for housing. In the mid-60s and 70s, councils built around three-quarters of all new homes. In 2014/15, councils built just 310 of the 26,843 new homes in London.

The report suggests that at least 154,000 homes could be built within existing town centres, which already have good transport links, shops and offices, with a potential of up to 218,000 new homes within ten years.

It also believes there is opportunity for building low-density housing in areas of outer London that have good transport links.

Acknowledging that the public must more involved in the planning process, Growing London says that information is often lost in translation when it comes to public consultations. It believes that a site notice and online planning database are inadequate in communicating the key characteristics of a planning application.

Do you believe the capital needs higher density housing, or are there alternatives?

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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