London Housing crisis – 5 controversial solutions.

As pressure rises over the task of tackling London’s housing crisis views being offered are becoming increasingly controversial and somewhat extreme.

According to the Office for National Statistics Figures, London house prices have been rising by more than 20%, increasing fears of a housing bubble within the capital.

However, more than this, with only 21,000 new homes being built each year despite the capital needing 63,000 new homes per annum, demand is far out stripping supply, adding to soaring prices within the London area.

As a result, the real issue in need of solving within the London property market is how can the supply of homes be dramatically increased, and here are 5 possible solutions:

1. Move old people to smaller flats.

In 2012 a proposal was put forward by the Local Government Association suggesting 100,000 new homes be built with the sole purpose of catering for the UK’s ageing population.

As a result it has been suggested that by doing so, the scheme could free up accommodation for a huge 350,000 people.

2. Adopt a European Attitude

Embracing the inevitable movement towards rising rentals and reduced home ownership is likely to benefit the London property market like it has done in Berlin where home ownership lies at a respective 16% in comparison to London’s high figure of 50%.

In doing so, Londoner’s would be likely to gain from renting better properties for longer. A solution that seems to have been at least partially identified by London mayor, Boris Johnson, who took action by launching a voluntary accreditation scheme aimed at improving rental standards.

3. Build all over the green-belt.

Plenty of green-belt land still lies within the M25 , and although this would be likely to receive a hostile response, Sam Bowman, a research director at the Adam Smith Institution, believes the time may have come to begin building on it as it would lead to bigger, cheaper homes for London citizens.

As of 2010 3.7% of England’s total land consisted of green-belt areas within London – according to Campaign to Protect Rural England.

4. Penalising owners of empty homes

More than 80,000 homes within the capital are currently empty.

Such figures identify the need to enforce schemes such as the Empty Home Premium which allows councils to charge 50% more council tax on homes without inhabitants.

However, the results of a Freedom of information request (published by BBC) revealed that only 5.5% of the 80,489 empty homes were being penalised in this way.

5. Building on Brownfield sites.

Arguably the least controversial solution, which appears to be taking shape as in June 14 the treasury announced 50,000 new homes would be built on 20  London-based brownfield sites.

However, the scheme is potentially still not expansive enough with the Mayor of London claiming 49,000 homes need to be built within London on an annual basis and Labour placing this figure at 63,000.

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Multi Coloured Terrace by Dominic Alves, Licensed by CC

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