HBF outlines housing industry's key asks of next London Mayor

1 May, 2024

Ahead of the London mayoral elections, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) has laid out measures the next London Mayor could take to address the capital's housing crisis.

Despite the deepening housing supply and affordability crisis in London, recent years have seen a marked political and economic shift towards the home building industry, which has adversely affected housing supply affordability. A manifesto published by the HBF identifies clear actions that can be taken to support the delivery of much-needed homes and ease the affordability strain on working-age Londoners.

All indicators forecast that supply will continue to drop in the coming months and years, by much more severe measures. This includes HBF’s most recent quarterly Housing Pipeline report, which demonstrated that the number of sites gaining planning permission has continued to plummet year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the number of households in inner London is expected to rise by 580,000 by 2039 compared to 2014, with outer London expected to increase by over 800,000 during this time, an increase of 40%.

To meet the needs of projected households by 2039, there will need to be 1.02 million homes built over the next 15 years, averaging 68,000 per year. This will require an annual supply increase of 80% compared to the past 10 years.

As the race for the mayoralty intensifies, the ‘Building Blocks for the Next London Mayor’ sets out measures to address the capital’s housing and affordability crisis. The recommendations focus on planning, skills, and affordable housing, calling for immediate preparation of a new London Plan to "ensure that the housing targets are based on updated evidence about population and household formation."

It adds that a review of the threshold approach to affordable housing is needed to ensure it is "genuinely an incentive" to support housing schemes to secure planning permission much faster and support the pace and scale of development needed.

With the number of skilled construction workers declining and the existing workforce aging, it also highlights the need for funding, resources, and support to ensure colleges are delivering courses that reflect the needs of the labour market "rather than what the Further Education (FE) college leaders consider viable to run."

Support for the delivery of small sites for home building, a review of London’s green belt, and incentives for registered providers are also among the list of recommendations made.

James Stevens, Director for Cities at the Home Builders Federation, said: “Amid a deepening housing crisis, with house building levels falling sharply and affordability squeezed, there is a real opportunity to begin to reverse this downward trend and support the industry to deliver the homes that London desperately needs.”

Read ‘Building Blocks for the Next London Mayor’ on the HBF website.