The battle for the new Mayor of London next year is almost certainly going to be between Sadiq Khan of Labour and Zac Goldsmith of the Conservatives.
Sadiq Khan at yesterday’s Labour conference gave a direct challenge to Zac Goldsmith stating that “I’m going to make the election in May a referendum on London’s housing crisis”.
He also says “I make an offer today to my Tory opponent; let’s work together, and stop the government making the housing crisis in London even worse”
Sadiq makes some points I’ve made, that too many homes in London are sold off to foreign investors instead of the people who really need them. He wants to stop the sale of Council Homes, many of which end up being bought by foreign Buy to Let investors and then rented out for much higher rents.
He states that he will set up a team, Homes for Londoners, and insist that half of all new homes are genuinely affordable, give Londoners first dibs on the homes that are built, bring in a London Living Rent and build homes for First Time Buyers, making Labour the party of home ownership.
Sadiq grew up on a Council Estate, and I believe that he truly understands the necessity of affordable housing in giving those not born into wealth a chance in life, and what it’s like to have to work hard to own a home of your own.
It will be interesting to see whether this time Zac Goldsmith, an Eton educated, like Boris, multi millionaire, who inherited a £200 million family fortune, can actually stand up to the property developers and overseas investors that are making a fortune out of the misery of millions of Londoners.
I truly hope that Zac Goldsmith is different from Boris Johnson and that we have two Mayoral candidates who genuinely care about solving London’s housing crisis.
Sadiq Khan has thrown down the gauntlet for Zac, it’ll now be interesting to see how Zac responds.
What housing policies will Zac Goldsmith come up with?