Since day one of my mayoralty I have made tackling London’s housing crisis one of my top priorities. I’m proud of the progress that we’ve been able to make despite Brexit uncertainty affecting the construction sector and the huge mess left by the last Tory administration.
When I took office, the pipeline of affordable housing was close to empty. Rather than building the homes Londoners need, Boris Johnson had instead prioritised luxury penthouse apartments for overseas investors. It’s taken time to undo his damaging legacy, but we’re now heading in the right direction.
Over the last two years, for example, we’ve started building more genuinely affordable homes in London than in any year since the mayor was given responsibility for affordable housing. We’ve also started more new council homes than in any year since 1984, given tenants the right to vote on estate regeneration plans and doubled our homelessness outreach teams.
If I am re-elected on May 7th, I will continue to stand up for Londoners bearing the brunt of our city’s housing crisis by demanding that City Hall is given the power to introduce rent controls in the capital. Today, I launch my re-election campaign by declaring that the forthcoming contest is nothing less than a referendum on rent controls.
Voters will face a clear choice between a Labour mayor who will continue to stand up for renters, or a Tory candidate who has shown he will oppose the measures needed to help Londoners struggling with the cost of living.
London gave me the chance to go from the council estate where I grew up to being mayor of the greatest city on earth. But I fear that if my Tory opponent gets into City Hall, many Londoners will be forced out of our city due to skyrocketing rents and denied the same opportunities to fulfil their potential.
It’s clear that in recent years, London’s private rents have spiralled out of control – between 2010 and 2020, rents rose by 27%. The average private rent for a one-bedroom home in London is now more than the average for a three-bed home in every other region of England. The Tories might not like it, but Londoners need rent controls now.
This election is a two-horse race and we will need the help of our amazing Labour members to win. Please lend your support, and help ensure that our rent control plans in the capital become a reality. You can find Labour campaign events in your area here.