New data has revealed that social housing is now the smallest tenure in London, down from the largest in the 1980s. A homeownership divide has developed starkly between younger and older Londoners.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London has reiterated calls for stamp duty receipts to be devolved to London in order to fund an urgent requirement for affordable homes due to recent figures indicating an alarming rise in housing inequality between older and younger Londoners.
The data released by City Hall reveals that home ownership among younger Londoners has fallen considerably since the 1990s. This lack of social housing, for Londoners, means that they will now be living in social housing.
Reports from 2018 regarding ‘Housing in London,’ uncover how the Right to Buy Scheme has experienced over 300,000 homes sold by councils in London since its introduction in 1980, with just one in five having been substituted. As a result, social housing has plateaued, going from being the capital’s largest housing tenure in the 1980’s to the lowest in 2017, accounting for just 21% of London’s households. Furthermore, it has led to numbers of private rented households with children to double in the last decade, from 140,000 in 2007 to 320,000 in 2017.
The data provided presents a stark difference in trends for different age groups. In 1990, around 50% of London households headed by a 25-34-year-old owned their own home, with around half of households headed by someone over 65 owning too. However, in less than 30 years, this story has changed dramatically.
The proportion of younger people owning their own home has decreased by around 45%, whilst amongst the over-65s the opposite has been the case, with the proportion having risen to almost three times this statistic.
Sadiq Khan commented on the issue, stating: “London’s housing landscape has worsened dramatically over the past 30 years, and we now risk a whole generation of Londoners being blocked from enjoying the benefits of a good quality, genuinely affordable home. This data shows that accessing social housing or homeownership is now a pipe-dream for too many.
London’s rocketing house prices mean we are contributing billions of pounds in stamp duty to the Treasury, when we could be using it to build new social rented and other genuinely affordable homes.
Control of stamp duty has been devolved to Scotland and Wales and it’s vital that Ministers devolve it to London too, which has a population larger than Scotland and Wales combined.
City Hall is doing everything they can to ensure new genuinely affordable homes get built, including our programme dedicated to helping councils build more housing. But the housing crisis facing our city, and in particular young Londoners, is immense.
The Government must rise to the scale of the challenge and provide significantly more powers and funding so we can build the homes that Londoners so desperately need.”
Chief Executive of Chartered Institute of Housing comments further on the data compiled: “This report makes it clear that young people are paying the price for our national failure to build the genuinely affordable homes we so desperately need, particularly in London. We simply cannot go on with the system we have or the implications for future generations will be every bit as significant as the impact of Brexit.
“For many people on lower incomes, social rent is the only truly affordable option – but as we can see from this report, thousands of people are being denied access because of the increasing shortage of social housing. It is vital that the government thinks creatively about how to shift investment so that we can build more of the right homes, in the right places, at the right places.”